Last night someone asked me if I thought that our deceased love ones could see us. I had to pause and think about this for a moment. Yes, I know people often will say that they are sure their loved ones are with them, watching over important events in their life, but I think for the most part this is just a thought expressed for the comfort of the living. If you think about it, most of us really wouldn't want our loved ones watching everything that we do when they should be experiencing the glories of life in Heaven. Imagining our loved ones who have passed away watching over us does make us feel better, but it may not be a real or fair expectation. That said, I do believe that those we love do maintain some level of awareness of us after they move on to the heavenly realm. So, after thinking about this I turned to the big book of answers for all things important... The Bible.
The Bible doesn't really seem to address this issue directly. We do see in the story of Lazarus that those who have passed on and reside in Hell are able to see what is happening in heaven. But that doesn't really answer the question regarding the ability of those who are in Heaven! Those in Hell would naturally desire to see what what happening in the heavenly realm and even back in the imperfect earthly realm. Heaven on the other hand wouldn't leave one pining for the good old days. So, in the end we are not given a direct answer. However, there are some things that we do know and that we know with certainty:
First, Heaven is perfection. If our loved one is in heaven with God, all is perfect for them. Their experience leaves nothing to be desired. They are with God, so they do not feel the same loss, pain, guilt, or even disappointment that we might feel. All of the emotions that are wrapped up in death that we experience are not part of the experience of those who have died.
Second, if there is something that we wish we could have said to our loved one, or something we wish that we had done before the passing of a loved one, we can be assured that they know this. God is all loving and all knowing. If God knows our feelings and thoughts they will surely be conveyed to our loved ones. Peace reigns in heaven, and we know that all differences are reconciled, all strife mediated, and all sorrow removed.
Third, if you are here, and you are grieving and regretting, there is comfort to be found in prayer. For Christians, the power of the person of the Holy Spirit will often be what leads us to peace and recovery. The Holy Spirit carries and shapes all our prayers to God, and the Psalms demonstrate that grieving and prayer go hand in hand. Let God know what you are feeling and experiencing, and know that your loved one knows, has forgiven, and all has been made right and perfect. This is a certainty.
Some people may know and understand this but still feel that they wish they could verbalize their feelings. My advice to them would be to find a quiet time to record their feelings or message in letter form. Then after praying, burn the letter as a symbolic way of letting go of the anxiety and the worry that one feels when one is unable to express last thoughts. There is no religious or faith significance in the letter, but the act of expressing oneself, sharing with God, and the symbolic release of the regret will help to free a hurting soul.