The Importance of Keeping Memories Alive

by melanie_a917

When someone is grieving, they are often pushed to move on, which can often cause them to feel alone. I believe we should accept grief, and feel free to talk about our memories.

I discovered I'm an atheist while someone important to me was in the middle of a battle with cancer. When he died it shook me to my core. It was the first death I experienced since I realized I didn't believe in an afterlife. To me, this wonderful man, someone who was like a second father to me, was just, gone. Most other people at the funeral had the comfort of believing they'd see him again. I envied them for that. My only comfort was knowing he was no longer in pain.

Our society today has the habit of silencing grief. We are told to move on, and deal with it. People stop talking about the dead, and avoid even saying their names. People who aren't ready to move on in an "acceptable" time frame are often put down, or ignored.

I eventually realized that silence was only adding to my pain. Feeling like I wasn't allowed to talk about someone I had loved made me feel alone. Once I was able to express this to my husband, he admitted he thought talking about him would cause me more pain, so maybe silence would help me heal by encouraging me to think about other things. 

Now, when I'm missing him, I speak up. I share my best memories and smile. On Memorial Day we toast to his memory. Some days I find the funeral program and sit and cry. I often think about things I would normally go to him to talk about, or miss feeling his hugs. I mourn over the fact that my children won't grow up with him in their lives. I've realized it's alright to still be feeling pain over this loss. It no longer rules my life, and I now feel he's living on in my memories. 

Let's put a stop to silencing grief. Say the name, share your memories, and keep the person alive with your stories. From time to time it's also alright to have a day when you just sit and mourn together. Trying to force someone to forget and move on doesn't help them heal, but sharing in their memories and letting them know they aren't alone in their grief and help. 

Death Leaves Heartache Mug
Death Leaves Hearta...
Updated: 07/22/2015, melanie_a917
 
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melanie_a917 on 07/23/2015

I agree. I guess it's also possible they've never lost someone they've loved, but just imagining losing people is painful.

frankbeswick on 07/23/2015

The people who scorn others for mourning their loved ones raise questions about whether they have ever loved and, if they have loved, how deeply?

melanie_a917 on 07/23/2015

I'm sorry for your loss. I imagine losing a brother wasn't easy. I've been doing a lot better, it's just been on my mind lately. I've seen many people who are scorned for still mourning their loved ones. I think the stigma against expressing grief needs to end.

happynutritionist on 07/23/2015

I just lost my brother to a brain tumor, he was also mentally and physically disabled his whole life. I am one who takes great comfort in knowing that he is not only no longer in pain, but he is with Jesus...difficult things in life and death are hard to understand without really knowing your Creator. It is even challenging when you do because we are human and hurt and our understanding is limited by what we see, when we have to also focus on what we can't see. I am grieving, I also did a lot of grieving before he died. May you find comfort...and perhaps get to know God a bit better.

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