There is a critical moment in our grieving journey where we realize that holding onto the past is keeping us from embracing the present. We realize that to function in the day-to-day reality we live in, we have to accept our circumstance and acknowledge that things are different now. That the new reality is a life full of memories of experiences past.
Accepting this new reality is incredibly challenging. I was afraid that if I acknowledged the fact that my mom was truly gone, I would lose what little I had left to remember her by. In fact, the opposite has proven to be true. I have been amazed at how many more memories I have been able to recall since I ‘let go’. Memories of all sorts of things that have taken on new meaning and are far more real and poignant than ever before. It’s as though they were dormant and waiting because I was not ready or even able to appreciate their true meaning or significance in my life. When that happened, I left the place of feeling that I still needed my mom to be there to comfort and console me, from the feeling she needed to be there to tell me it was alright and to hold me close, like mothers do.
Instead, mom has become my supporter. The one ‘by my side’ through the memories I have. The texture of the memory has changed from being vivid and specific images of events and circumstances to a woven tapestry of a story that is much more a part of who ‘I am’ than what ‘she was’.
Do I understand how this change takes place? Probably not…actually…no. But I do know one thing, I’ll never forget…and that means more to me than anything else. The point is that who we are changes, at least in part, because of the influence of others on us. Either in the present or the past or…in the future.
Yes, I now realize that my memories of my mom can affect me for the rest of my life! Actually…they can change me. 😊
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Her story continues…in me…
My name is Dennis. What’s your name?
What is a memory you have from before your loss that brings you joy? I’d love to hear more about it.
(Write in the comments below or email me)