A Simple Good-bye Ritual

          by Christine Longaker


First, light a candle in front of a photo of the person you’ve lost.

If you like, you can imagine a radiant, loving presence is above you, filling the room with compassion and blessings.

Now write down three things you really want this person to know. This is especially helpful when you couldn’t be with the person when he or she died, or if the death was unexpected.

Imagine your loved one is here, in front of you, and read out loud what you’ve written.

Consider that the person has really heard you, and then, imagine how they might respond. You may want to write this down as well, and then read it out loud – allowing yourself to take it in.

Now, take a moment to notice, without judgment, how you are. With kindness and compassion, be present with whatever this brought up for you.

Remember, there’s no perfect way to make a ritual. It’s fine to adjust whatever feels right for you.

If you like, you can conclude by listening to a meditation or piece of music, or by reading a prayer or poem.

You may wish to dedicate the blessings of this ritual for your loved one, for others you know who are struggling, and for yourself – that you might find strength, and compassion, and a positive way forward in your life.

See also: 

A Slightly Longer Good-bye Ritual

The Five-part Love Letter technique by John Gray

A Non-Denominational Ritual for a Group

The Unfinished Business Dialogue for Healing Relationships, from “Facing Death and Finding Hope”

English: The Unfinished Business Dialogue

Nederlands: Onafgemaakte zaken

Guided Meditations for Easing Grief

Essential Phowa for Another Person

Establishing a Noble Intention for Others

The Heart Practice for Suffering

Cultivating Compassion

Click the image below to access additional guided meditations in Deutsch, Francais, English, Italian, Chinese, and Spanish:

Covid-19 Spiritual Care Resources

Two Free Chapters from “Facing Death and Finding Hope”

I’m offering the best chapters from Facing Death and Finding Hope: Ch. 3: The Needs of the Dying, and Ch. 11: Understanding Grief.

Download 2 chapters English  

Download 2 chapters Deutsch

            To view or buy the print or e-book:

English, USA: “Facing Death and Finding Hope”

Deutsch : Dem Tod Begegnen und Hoffnung Finden

Nederlands : Het Licht van Afschied.

Francais : ebook “Trouvour L’Espoir Face a la Mort”

Print book: Trouver L’Espoir Face a la Mort

Easing Grief with the Warmth of Self-Compassion – seminars and workshops

Click here to find upcoming seminars and workshops with Christine Longaker

© 2020 text and photo Christine Longaker

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