When You Die Do You Remember Your Family?

By Charalampos •  Updated: 03/14/23 •  7 min read

Death is a natural part of life. It’s something that happens to all of us, though many of us try to avoid the topic and pretend it won’t happen to us. But does death really mean our connection with our loved ones is severed for eternity? Do we remember them when we pass away or are we in a new realm entirely?

As Christians, what exactly happens when you die? Are there any Biblical principles that can help provide insight into this difficult subject?

In this blog post, let’s explore some ways the Bible sheds light on what occurs after death so that you can be better informed about an inevitable journey each of us will eventually have to take.

How Can We Be Sure That We Will Remember our Loved Ones When We Die?

Remember our Loved Ones When We Die

According to the Revelation of God and the Church Fathers, we take with us for eternity what we have created with God (love) here on Earth.

And in eternity, these virtues will be strengthened and flourish a thousandfold. Love is something that will definitely be there, and will be in its entirety.

Therefore, it’s logical that our love for God and the closest people won’t go away, but on the contrary, will blossom. It’s also logical to assume that the soul will remember everything about its family.

The Scripture also tells us that the love of the spouses who inherited Paradise will not cease: “Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:8). That is, the soul will remember its relatives and loved ones not only while they are alive, but also recognize them in heaven.

God does everything based on love, so if a person needs to meet with his relatives, this meeting will certainly take place.

It’s just that we can’t imagine what the word “meeting” means in the afterlife. However, we can be sure that the soul remembers its earthly life.

“An Unbelievable For Many But Yet A Real Event”

experience after death

There are people who have experienced clinical death. Let’s take a real-life example. The young man became seriously ill and died in a hospital ward. In his book «An Unbelievable For Many But Yet A Real Event» he describes how he saw his body from the side, doctors fussing and his relatives mourning.

“How could I think I was dead if I didn’t lose consciousness for a minute? I felt alive, heard and saw everything, was able to move, think and speak. I saw myself perfectly, and at the same time I felt the strangeness of my new state.”

Then the young man said that the angels began to lift him higher and higher. He didn’t feel the temperature change between the warm room and the street where it was snowing. That is, a person remembers not only his relatives but even minor things, for example, the soul is surprised that it doesn’t feel a cold temperature.

They went higher, and suddenly, with a shout and a cackle, demons rushed towards them, who said that he had renounced God.

The young man remembered how he once doubted the existence of God. It was an insignificant phrase, just the words: “Maybe there is no God.” So, the soul has the opportunity to remember even what a living person has almost completely forgotten, the most insignificant moments in life.

From this small episode, we see that the memory of a past life remains. The soul fully remembers its relatives and is fully aware of what is happening. Moreover, conscience will remind us what we thought, what we said, and how we acted if it contradicts the commandments of God.

Filled with horror, the young man turned to the Mother of God, and only uttered her name, as a white fog hid the demons.

“And then I saw a bright light pouring down from above. It was much stronger than the sun. I was anxiously thinking: “What will be next? When will we pass the sphere of light, and does it have an end, a limit?” Majestically and without wrath, but authoritatively and unshakably, the words thundered from the above – “He is not prepared!” After that, we began to descend smoothly.”

This confirms that the soul can pray, reason logically, and make decisions. 

In particular, pious souls can pray for their relatives, just as saints pray for us before God when we ask for it. From the point of view of Orthodoxy, there can be no doubt that after a death we remember our family and close people.

If you are interested in the question of what a person sees after death, you can read the books «Life after life: The investigation of a phenomenon — survival of bodily death» by Raymond Moody and «The Soul after Death» written by Orthodox hieromonk Seraphim Rose.

The Christian Point of View

The Orthodox Church teaches that death isn’t the end of life but rather the transition from this life to the next.

The main aspect of the Orthodox understanding of the afterlife is the belief in the general resurrection of the dead. According to the Orthodox Church, the body and soul will be reunited at the time of the resurrection, and both will participate in the fullness of life in the Kingdom of God.

This means that the memories and experiences of our earthly life won’t be fully forgotten.

The Orthodox Church also teaches that the souls of the righteous people go to Paradise, where they rest and await the general resurrection.

In Paradise, the souls feel peace and happiness, but not all of their memories remain with them, for example, if a soul goes to heaven it forgives people who made something bad to a person in the past and thus a soul won’t think about it. The souls in Paradise have a spiritual awareness of God and are in a state of joy and peace.

Orthodox theology also believes that saints in heaven are able to hear and answer the prayers of people on Earth. This means that we can still keep in touch with our loved ones even after they have passed away. Saints can also help us in our spiritual growth, as they are closer to God and are more aware of our needs.

Read Also: What Does Heaven Look Like?

Final Thoughts

It can be concluded that based on the Bible and the experience of people who have had clinical death, as well as based on Orthodox theology, the soul after death doesn’t forget those who it loved on Earth.

There are some elements of Orthodox theology that suggest that our memories and experiences from this life won’t be completely forgotten especially if it’s related to something good.

The belief in the resurrection of the dead and the intercession of saints suggests that we will still have a connection with our loved ones after death.

Whether we will remember them in the exact same way as we do now is unknown, but the Orthodox Church teaches that the souls of righteous people will be happy in heaven together with other souls.

Now we know that death isn’t the end of our relationship with our loved ones and that we will one day be reunited with them in the Kingdom of God.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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