It would be nice to think we aren't really gone when we go.
It's interesting to me how different cultures approach my grieving. I don't really mean "culture" so much as the microculture of the individual, however it is informed by their past, their beliefs, what they've learned or taught themselves. There is of course, a general summary macroculture that identifiably differs among groups, or countries, or religions, and it does inform the beliefs of people who are raised in it. But it only serves as a foundation for what each person chooses to accept as part of their philosophy of mortality. And that philosophy, if you were able to really see it, is as different from person to person as fingerprints. One time when you see it most clearly, is when people speak to you of your own grief. It's easier for them to lay it out there when they think it will help you.
Everyone has a theory of mind, of course (what they think people think), but we all also each have a theory of soul, whether we recognize as that or not. A lot of what people tell me, when I'm mourning Jesse, is like prayer -- in the sense that it's something intimately theirs, that comforts them, that touches on their deepest sense of what life actually is, but buffers them from it, too. Like when one toddler sees another cry and hands him her teddy bear because it's what would make her feel better if she were crying.
I don't think it really matters what anyone says, ultimately -- we feel what we feel. There really is no consolation for it, you just learn to accept it.
I like what Khalil Gibran said of children, that they come through us but not from us. We are the bow, they are the arrow aimed at eternity. I tell my remaining son that he is my emissary to the future. But he is his own, even as his gestures, words and choices reflect something of me.