In July 2012, Amanda Lindgren lost her soul mate in the horrific Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting. She and her boyfriend, Alex Teves, were attending the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" when a gunman entered and opened fire. Teves heroically jumped in front of Lindgren, saving her life while losing his own.
Filmmaker Jonas Elrod, host of the OWN series "In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod," reached out to Lindgren to find out how she is learning to cope with her grief. For an entire year, Lindgren says she left the apartment she and Teves shared together completely untouched. She didn't want to pack his things away, she said, because she didn't feel like he was really gone.
In the above video, spiritual teacher Catherine Yunt explains how we stay connected to a loved one even after he or she dies. "Metaphysical means 'beyond the physical.' And now we have Alex in the nonphysical," Catherine said. "So it's an appropriate term to say 'I'm having a conversation or contact with someone in the nonphysical.' It happens very often after you lose a loved one, and usually in a dream which I call a visitation. It's very real."
One of Lindgren's greatest fears is losing her connection to Teves. Rather than thinking of their love being gone, Yunt said to think of their relationship in a new way. "If you think of love as being eternal, it's never over; it's just transformed," Yunt said. "And so part of our challenge of those left behind here in the physical is, 'How are we going to identify our relationship now in a new way?'"
The important thing to remember, Yunt says, is that a relationship with a loved one "absolutely" continues after death. "And that's the piece that keeps us connected," she says. "And that's the way that we connect with our loved ones on the other side. And even how we're supported and get through the events on this side, as our loving family and our loving friends. It's that connection that helps us heal."
More: Why Lindgren says she is moving on, not moving forward.