I've led meditation workshops for years now and one of the sample meditation styles we do is a Metta Meditation. In it, we think about different "kinds" of people - totally revered, people we've loved, people we don't know, and people we withhold our love from. I've always said the person could be alive or have passed on already and there's usually someone in the group who shares that they thought about someone, often a parent or a sibling, who has died. I could relate, but not as strongly as I can relate now.
My dad died in January and since then, I've had the opportunity to "visit" with him, especially during the times when I do metta meditation, which isn't all the time, so it seems special. When his face slips into that screen of my mind's eye, it makes me feel happy, and it's a treat to send him metta so that he can feel happy too. It doesn't make me feel sad at all to have him visit at these times because it's so real for me and it counts as a real visit. I feel like I just saw him and smiled with him and was close to him and by opening my heart in that "metta" (lovingkindness) way, I feel really connected to him - maybe even more than I did sometimes when he was alive.
The technique of giving metta to people is usually a short one and yet it is so powerful. I find people can go on such a journey in even 6-8 minutes, it's amazing. The video below talks about what Metta Meditation is or can be.