My mom was a picture taker and a memory maker. She made everything she did an experience. I state this with all the love in my heart, I have amazing memories of my mom and my dad. But personally, I wasn’t much of a memory maker. I was never present and I didn’t document a lot of my experiences throughout my life. Today this bothers me. See, I couldn’t remember or find the last picture I took with my mom or my dad, I was too worried what I looked like or I wasn’t “dressed” or “wearing makeup”. I was always worrying about work or some man not worth worrying or spending my time on and before I knew it, my dad passed away and then so did my mom. And then my experience of my first child was taken so quickly and the moments I remember are of her illness and the pain and ultimately the loss…
BUT…yup, there’s a but… here’s what I’ve learned and I encourage to take the time to work through this and try my recommendations start to change your memory making after loss. Here we go
After losing my dad, my baby daughter Chloe and my mom I felt overwhelmed and unable to breathe, much less make memories. I felt so worthless and so sad all of the time, that I had to choose to wait to die or to live my very best life. No, it didn’t happen overnight, no, I didn’t instantly feel better, I took the time I needed to find my way to grieve but I started to treat every moment as a memory making opportunity.
Now you may be reading this thinking – what do you mean? Make Memories? I can’t breathe, I’m without a part of me … I’ve lost my marriage, my child, my spouse, my parent, my grandparent, my infant, my sibling, my best friend, myself or __!!!! First, I am so so very sorry for your unimaginable loss. Yes, I am still discussing making memories after loss. Whether it’s a journey of Eat, Pray, Love or it’s a journey of making it to the local Grocery store or getting out of bed before 2 pm …
Every moment is an opportunity!!! How?? Keep reading…
I am someone throughout my grief journey and assisting others throughout their journeys. Document to create a baseline, document whether it’s on your iPhone/Android but start documenting what you look like and how you feel each day. Start there and then develop a habit to see how you feel after your loss. Now I know that after loss is the hardest and most painful time of life but there are still moments of joy, faith, hope and you need to create memories with living after loss. So let’s start with taking the next 7 days to live and document that!!! With today’s technology (phones, apps, etc) you can find a way to document!!!!
What are you waiting for? I use to think someone was going to come and save me??? Somehow make me feel better and would help me!? That isn’t the truth. You have to begin where you are. You have to start with understanding that no matter how long you wait, you cannot go back in time. I’m not being harsh I’m being honest, with this honesty let’s begin to stop waiting. Stop waiting to live. Take the moments to make memories – if that’s taking a picture, going somewhere, getting dressed, do it for the next 7 days!!!!
Be Gentle with Yourself
This is the necessity above all else!!!! Start with understanding that you’ve gone through the impossible and starting to live and making memories is going to feel hard and impossible but begin as you are able. Remind yourself that just because you are choosing to live doesn’t mean you are being disloyal to your grief! Instead, you are honoring the love! Let’s start there – the kinder you are to yourself, the easier it’ll be to make a memory without you feeling shame and/or guilt. I could go on forever about grief and shame but that’s not the focus. Instead, we must remain kind and loving and true to ourselves!!!!
“How do I make memories when I’m hurting so badly???”
Oh lovely one I ask myself this very question often and then I answer just like this Very gently…
It’s all up to you… go out, let your loved ones show up for you, show up for yourself…have a dance party in your bra, by yourself, look at the sky, take a walk, laugh, breathe…
This is imperative and know that it’ll feel awkward for a long time and you’ll find your way because – YOU DESERVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE!!!
Don’t you ever forget this and those memories will come!!!
I send you off to go and make some memories – I’d love to know about them. Feel free to connect with me by clicking here.
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