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When it hurts to remember

remembering through photographsFrom “Springs of Living Water,” the grief support e-newsletter of Optage Hospice

Most of us have heard the cliché, “Take comfort in the memories.” While there can be comfort in memories, this is not always the case, especially in early grief, when many of us are still processing the final months with our loved one.
 
Here are four suggestions for navigating painful memories:
 
1. Give it time. Immediately after a loss, it is not unusual to think about difficult aspects of the journey. This may be the mind’s way of helping us understand what has happened. Often, once the reality of the loss has been fully integrated we can begin to engage happier memories.
 
2. Don’t fight it. It’s okay to see things as are they are—even if you experience pain or disappointment along
the way. Relationships are complex, and most of us experience a tangle of emotions.
 
3. Pull out some photos. If your mind becomes fixated on difficult parts of the journey, take some old photographs out. As you engage with earlier memories, a fuller picture emerges.
 
4. Seek help. If you are several months (or years) from the loss and are still struggling with conflicted memories, seek support from someone who can help you. Connect with a therapist or join one of our grief groups. These can help you find clarity, peace and a path forward.
 
We invite you to learn more about attending a Grief Group (over Zoom) by emailing facilitator Jenny Schroedel from Optage Hospice: [email protected].

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