Bereavement is a time filled with memories. It can be easy to focus on those that are difficult, painful or regret-filled to the exclusion of those with more power; positive memories. Positive memories offer opportunities for reflection, wonder, healing and grace.

Become your own memory archivist.

Whether you’ve recently lost a long-term job or the important relationship of a loved one, memories can soothe the savage emotions of grief. Remembering can be restorative; giving you something to grasp and celebrate in light of your loss. Here are some strategies to consider when cultivating positive and healing memories; 

  • Create a memory scrapbook specific to your grief journey. Sift through old photos looking for images that reflect welcome memories.
  • Draw or write about some of the best moments in your relationship or work life. Take time to celebrate positive events or successes.
  • Assemble other images that support your positive memories; a scrapbook might contain dried flowers, magazine pictures, collected items such as brochures or postcards.

After you’ve assembled historical items to represent your memories, dig deeper by reflecting on what you learned from these experiences. Memories may give you gifts you haven’t anticipated. You may find an insights to carry you into the unknown future. You may discover new things about yourself; awakening to your own perseverance, capacity to face challenges or ability to approach opportunities with confidence.

Look for your own strength, courage and wisdom revealed in the memories in your newly created archive. What you discover may guide your next steps in healing and moving forward into the future.

Peace be with you,

Deb Buehler