Well here I am to talk about grief, memories, and the fear of losing everything.
This is going to be split up a little differently than normal. The first chunk here is going to be discussing grief and the second part will just be some kind words. Let’s get started.
Grief is tough. I think grief is tough not because of the things we are feeling and processing but because of the social tornado around it. How are you feeling? Let’s go get coffee. Are you okay? It’s been x amount of time so you should feel better. Still upset? Why aren’t you crying? You’re cold. Didn’t you love them?
Right. The slew of questions and assumptions is excessive. It’s also extremely overwhelming when the events of death and death rituals (like a funeral) are occupying all free time and free mental space.
As people who will sooner or later encounter grief, all we need to do is say, “I’m sorry” or, if you don’t like that phrase, “I wish I had the right words but know that I’m here and I care.” Either of these are perfectly acceptable. From there, take your lead from the person mourning.
We’re a touch backwards in a lot of ways about death and part of that is how we handle it. Don’t tell the mourner that you understand how they feel. In fact, emphasize that you don’t understand but that you are there regardless. Don’t say something about a better place or bring religion into it because many people don’t believe in that.
Bottom line here: grief is rough.
We all grieve and process differently. So, however you’re feeling whether it’s not much at all or a tsunami of emotion, that’s okay.
But a big part of grief is the selfish feeling of never being able to experience something again. Whether that’s a conversation with a relative because they’ve died or petting your puppy or even being an old version of yourself.
We fear that we will lose it. There’s the fear that we will forget. We’ll forget good memories, the voice of someone, the smell of their clothes, their house. We fear that we’ll forget them. And yeah, that is a really scary thing especially when we’ve just lost someone.
This blog post isn’t about letting go of your deceased loved one or whatever else you’re grieving. This isn’t about learning to move on. It’s about something else.
It’s about letting go of that fear.
You are not going to forget someone. Yes, some memories will fade. And many memories have already faded. But there are still so many that exist.
It’s okay if you can’t pull a memory out a hat at any given moment. That’s normal. Forcing yourself to try and remember random things isn’t a good measure of how you can remember someone. It isn’t a good measure of anything, really. So relax.
You have things to remember them by.
Maybe it’s a wooden figure or a shirt or a hat or pictures but there are things that you have around you that serve as reminders of them. Those things will always be there to bring up memories. They will always be around to make you smile and remind you of the person.
Surround yourself with positive memories. Surround yourself with memories.
It’s so important to hang up pictures of people dead or alive. Things that make you smile and bring you joy should be around you wherever possible.
You won’t forget.
Really, you won’t. You can write down your best memories as they come to you. You can make personal vlogs about it. You can write on the back of photos or scrapbooks. You won’t forget because you don’t want to.
Life goes on. But you carry the voice and the story of the people you love and care about. You’re allowed to shout it from the rooftops. You’re allowed to talk about them. You’re allowed to find ways to keep their legacy alive.
You won’t forget because you don’t want to. And that’s all you need to keep in mind.
It’s okay. You won’t forget.