Memories are building blocks that shape us into who we are. Regardless of the emotion each memory carries, they are tiny pieces of our hearts that create a whole person.
I can turn on a certain song, close my eyes and go right back to my happiest memory of experiencing that song with Justin. Or how the power of your smell sensory can bring you back to a certain memory. Smell memory (as I like to call it) is the reason I picked out a few of Justin’s shirts from his clothes hamper and sealed it in a plastic bag hoping it will lock in his aroma, you know that special individual smell everyone has. Justin’s smell was so nice, and he prided himself on personal hygiene so he literally never smelled bad. He just smelled like my Justin.
Oddly enough, social media has become this sacred time capsule for our memories. I share my Facebook memories frequently because they are the things I miss and they are all I have left. I lost my person and I lost my future with this person so I no longer have the ability to make new memories with him. So, I share the ones I do have. It’s not any different than when I talk about him or share something that reminds me of him.
I have noticed from personal experience and from fellow widows that those around us sometimes think that when we share these memories we are not doing well, in a dark place or that we are dwelling on the past and I guess that makes others uncomfortable. That’s right…it makes OTHERS UNCOMFORTABLE! HA! This makes me laugh because its absolutely ridiculous. A fellow Wid recently said that their family was concerned their sharing of memories could be scaring off potential love interests. Which is so outrageous in my eyes because us widows are not even slightly concerned with this thought. Probably because the next person I choose to be with will be mature enough to handle my grief, and that means I will share memories of my past because they are monumental parts of who I am today, and who I am today is the person my next partner will love. So, they WILL care about the memories I have, as I will care about the memories they have. Because, its those memories that are part of their heart that I will choose to love.
When you haven’t experienced loss like this I think it tends to come easy for outsiders to have an opinion or a concern with the way someone else may be grieving. But in fact, they have no idea what this is like. So, if we are getting up every day, taking care our kids, walking the dog, going to work and talking about our loss, not hiding it away because it makes others uncomfortable, then I’d say we’re doing our damn best…OK? If we want to share our memories, let us share our memories, that is something that should be celebrated, not shamed.
So, to my fellow wids out there or anyone who is grieving anything, keep sharing your memories. Don’t let anyone make you believe you shouldn’t. Be open to making new memories, but delight in the ones you do have from your past. After all, the memories are all we have to hold onto.