Parting can be such sweet sorrow, but sometimes it must be done. But what you can say is you're not truly leaving: you'll remain in spirit. This trope is no less powerful when the person is more than "leaving" and is in fact dying or Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence or similar.
This is common for when the person is going to be away for a long time or if the person the leaving one is talking to hasn't been away from them for a significant amount of time before (the latter is most common if the one being talked to is very young and/or naive). It's also common to have an Always with You moment if the person is leaving and they're not sure they'll be back or even believe they definitely won't be, either because the place they're going to is dangerous and they believe they might die, or if the place is hard to come back from (another planet, another dimension, a lifetime prison sentence, etc). Another variation is a ghost saying this to a living person they knew and loved.
There are many ways to do this. The most simple way is to simply say, "I will always be with you in your thoughts/mind/heart", while another common way is to say, "I'll always be with you in here" and point to the vicinity of the other person's heart. A third (less common but not incredibly rare) way is to encourage the other person to liken the one leaving to some part of nature (for example, "When the wind blows, that's me tickling you"). This is more common with the death variation but can be used when the person is simply leaving. If the departure is only temporary, these lines often precede the phrase "until we meet again" or something along those lines. "We can never really be apart" is also a common way of phrasing this, as is "As long as you remember me I'll always exist" for when the character is dying.
How the other person responds may vary. They will usually either become sadder and start to cry and say something like, "No!" or "But I don't want you in my thoughts/mind/heart, I want you here!", or they will cheer up, at least a little, and accept that the departure is inevitable.
- From Bleach: "Spirits are ALWAYS WITH YOU!!"
- In the dub of Digimon Tamers, Leomon says this as part of his last words. During the final arc, this proves to be true as he encourages Jeri to Screw Destiny in spirit.
Leomon: Be brave, Jeri. Part of me will always be with you. Remember, you have a lion's heart...
- In Fairy Tail, Juvia says this to Gray when she uses the last of her strength to give him a lifesaving blood transfusion with her water magic. While Gray believes she's dead and Juvia was fully expecting to die, Juvia survives.
- In season 2 of Granblue Fantasy, this is what Ferry tells her little sister before the latter leaves their home to seek treatment for her illness.
Ferry: No matter how far we are apart, I'll always be with you.
- In My Hero Academia, Deku is told this by his deceased predecessors.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
"Don't forget. Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember her, You Are Not Alone."
- In Sword Art Online, after Eugeo is fatally wounded by Quinella, he tells a crying Kirito that the memories they shared together will always live in his heart, and they'll be friends for all eternity. It's implied this is a more literal example, as Eugeo managed to imprint a part of his fluctlight into Kirito's, allowing his spirit to manifest and come to his aid in his battles against Vassago and Gabriel.
- In the final issue of the Disney Kingdoms series Figment 2 Dreamfinder tells his 3 times great grandniece Capri that he and Figment will always be with her in her dreams.
- All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 has a nice little song based around this.
- Big Hero 6: Baymax says this directly to Hiro to both console and convince him to say the phrase that will allow Baymax to deactivate and send out Hiro and Abigail's pod with his rocket fist, leaving him behind. As it turns out, Baymax means it a bit more literally than initially seemed, because the rocket fist that saves Hiro and Abigail's lives has Baymax's healthcare chip in it, and Hiro is able to rebuild Baymax with it and Tadashi's schematics, memories and all.
- In FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Madgie says this to Crysta just before she vanishes.
Madgie: I love you. I'll always be with you.
- In The Land Before Time, Littlefoot's mother: "I'll always be with you, even when you can't see me." In the fifth film in the series, the sentiment is put into song, "Always There".
- The Lion King (1994): 'He Lives in You', a song originally written for the first movie, and going by the musical, potentially written for the scene where Mufasa's ghost speaks to Simba. It was later used in the opening of the sequel and is one of the most popular additions to the musical to date.
- Moana's grandmother assures her granddaughter that there's no place she could go where Grandma's love would not be able to follow her.
- Pocahontas: John Smith says this to Pocahontas when he is due to be executed. She echoes it in the final scene when she chooses to stay with her people instead of sailing to England with him.
- Pooh's Grand Adventure: Christopher Robin must start school, meaning the end of a carefree childhood spent almost entirely in the Hundred Acre Wood with his friends. He spends one last free day with Pooh and leaves him with the Arc Words of the movie before beginning the new chapter in his life where he's no longer guaranteed to see Pooh as often, let alone every day as before.
Christopher Robin: If ever there is a tomorrow where we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.
- Song of the Sea: When Ben reunites with the spirit of his mother, she tells him to remember her in the stories and songs she taught him, and that shell always be with him and his sister.
- Casper: 'Remember Me This Way'
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: "I'll be right here."
- Final Destination: At the end, Alex tells Clear "I'm always with you" right before he saves her from the exploding car by grabbing the loose electrical wire. In the original ending, it resulted in a Heroic Sacrifice. In the theatrical Revised Ending, it resulted in a Disney Death.
- Hocus Pocus: Binx's spirit says this to Dani just before he finally joins his sister Emily in the afterlife.
- Moulin Rouge!: Satine's Last Request to Christian is that he write the story of their love, because, she says, "That way I'll always be with you."
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Obi-Wan Kenobi: [To Luke Skywalker] The Force will be with you, always.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yoda will always be with you.
- And then in Return of the Jedi, when Luke is in mourning:
Luke: [To Kylo Rennote ] Strike me down in anger, and I will always be with you.
- And to carry on the tradition, there's The Last Jedi:
- Superman: The Movie:
Jor-El: He will not be alone. He will never be alone. [snip] You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you, even in the face of our own deaths. [snip] You will carry me inside you all the days of your life.
- Alec's parting words to Alice in Swamp Thing.
- In Season of Miracles, Rafer gives each of his teammates a rock. The rocks act as good luck charms, improving their baseball skills. When Rafer is in the hospital because of his fatal blood disease, one boy says that Rafer is still with them.
- Harry Potter: "After all this time?" "Always."
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit Will Travel, the Mother Thing gives Kip a small item which, when held up to someone's head, gives them a warm feeling that she is loving and watching over you.
- Implied in The Secret Garden via Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane; In the final chapter, Archibald Craven has a dream of his late wife Lilias. When he asks where he can find her, she replies, "In the garden with Colin." After waking, the lord is overcome with a need to rush home, where he finds his sickly son Colin, healthy and playing in his mother's garden.
- A heartbreaking story told in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul has a woman talking about her teenage son Michael, who had committed suicide after his girlfriend left him to marry someone else. After she, his father and his older brother arrived only minutes after he took his life, they found his suicide note that said how much he loved them, to not blame themselves and that he'll always be with them (which was also the title of the story in the book).
- The song "No Matter Where They Are" from Barney & Friends is all about this trope.
- In "Booby Trap" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge creates a hologram of Leah Brahms, one of the original designers of the Enterprise, and ends up developing romantic feelings for the holographic character. When it finally comes time to end it, she tells him "I'm with you every day, Geordi. Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me" and they kiss. In "Galaxy's Child" from the next season of the show, the real Brahms comes aboard the Enterprise and discovers the recording.
Leah: Was it good for you?
- In The Walking Dead, Glenn Rhee's last words as he's being beaten to death by Negan are to his pregnant wife - "Maggie... I'll find you." It's miraculous that poor Glenn was able to muster these last words, given the sudden brain trauma from Negan, and that he can even realize what's happened at all.
- The song by Puff Daddy, "I'll Be Missing You", a memorial re-recording of The Police's "Every Breath You Take". What's interesting is they take the creepy stalker elements of the original song and rewrite it to become this trope. "Missing You" is about your dead loved ones watching and waiting in heaven.
- The Phil Collins song "You'll Be In My Heart".
- Escape Club's "I'll Be There" is about a dead paramour watching his love from heaven after he's gone.
- "Sleeping With Ghosts" by Placebo - also known as "Soulmates Never Die".
- "There you'll be" by FaithHill
- "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling:
I know now, just quite howMy life and love might still go onIn your heart, in your mindI'll stay with you for all of time
- ''Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye:
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Mary to Edward in their final moments before she dies: "I'll be with you, Kenway. I will."
- In Assassin's Creed III, what Ziio says to Connor as she dies: "You will think yourself alone, but know that I will be at your side. Always and forever."
- Whichever spirit the Warden encounters while navigating the Gauntlet in Dragon Age: Origins says something to this effect, especially when presenting the Warden with the pendant called Reflection. The pendant invokes the concept; its Flavor Text states that when glancing into its mirrored back, there is sometimes a fleeting glimpse of the smiling face of someone who is gone.
- On the Nintendo Switch in 2017, it was discovered that a copy of Golf from the NES, a game programmed by the late Satoru Iwata (who had passed away on July 11, 2015), was hidden in the firmware of every console. The game could be accessed if the joysticks were moved in the same way Iwata had gestured his hands during Nintendo Direct, on July 11th provided that you didn't change the date yourself (otherwise the internal clock will detect the change) and your console had not been upgraded past Version 1.0.0. The following year, the game was removed. In Japan, it's been considered symbolic of an omomori, a small bag left at a shrine or carried attached to something like a backpack as a blessing in memoriam, the bag not to be open lest the blessing be removed. The omomori loses its power in a year and is disposed of.
- Kingdom Hearts: Kairi to Sora "Don't ever forget. Wherever you go, I'm always with you."
- In Mass Effect 3, the spirit of a romanced Thane will say this to Shepard at the end of the Citadel DLC.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain:
- Venom Snake: "I won't scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea. I will always be with you."
- Paz: "As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not a phantom limb, or a phantom anything. As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace."
- Even though Paz was only a figment of Venom's imagination as a manifestation of his guilt over not being able to save her, the bits of her bones and teeth near his heart are real. In a literal sense, Paz will always be a part of Venom.
- May occur at the end of Persona 4. When the investigation team is sad over the protagonist leaving, one of the dialogue options is "I'll stay... in your hearts." If you choose this, it's immediately lampshaded by Kanji.
- If you complete Yukiko's Social Link, she will give you a shrine charm. If you romanced her, she will say that it will protect you even when she can't be there, and allow you to always be together.
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories can end with Cheryl accepting that, while Harry is dead, he lives on in her memories. After she states, "You've been with me for so long,", he gently responds with, "I always will be."
- In episode 2 of Volume 4 RWBY, Jaune Arc is training while watching instruction video his friend Pyrrha Nikos made; it ends with her telling him that she is glad to be part of his life and that she will always be there for him. It's sad because Pyrrha died a couple months earlier fighting to defend Beacon.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Yue to Sokka at the end of Season One, when she becomes the Moon Spirit.
- In the season one finale of DuckTales (2017), Dewey says this to Webby to comfort her after Lena's Heroic Sacrifice. Of course, the audience is immediately shown Lena literally is still with her... as her shadow. Webby wouldn't learn that her best friend had been watching over her until she manages to return to the material plane partway through the following season.
- Parodied in the Gravity Falls episode "Irrational Treasure":
Quentin Trembley: Children, I am needed elsewhere. Just know that I'll always be right here... (points at Dipper's heart, and unfolds his hand to reveal a bill) ...On the negative 12-dollar bill.Dipper: Wow, this is worthless!Trembley: It's less than worthless, dear boy!
- Invader Zim mocked this in "The Most Horrible Xmas Ever".
Mr. Sludgy: But Santa didn't die in space. Santa lives on.
Little Girl: In the hearts and minds of us all?
Mr. Sludgy: No! In space! Gathering power! And that's why we live in this protective dome!
- The Legend of Korra: Raava, to Wan, the First Avatar. It's kind of an odd example, because Wan, not Raava, is the one who is dying. Raava is assuring him that she'll be with him through all his lifetimes as he reincarnates as each new Avatar.
- From the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Fear of a Krabby Patty":
Giant Krabby Patty: Remember, SpongeBob, I will always be with you, right here. [points at SpongeBob's chest]SpongeBob: In my heart?Giant Krabby Patty: Actually, your arteries.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender: In the final episode, Allura says this to Lance before giving him one final kiss and sacrificing herself to save all of existence.
- The Wild Thornberrys: Near the end of "Forget Me Not", when Rebecca, an old elephant that Nigel once rescued, consoles Eliza as she's about to pass away.
Eliza: Please, Rebecca, don't go. (sobs)Rebecca: Now, now, now...Eliza: I just met you. I don't want to say goodbye.Rebecca: Then we won't.