Do these things mean that you are forgetting?
Do they mean that you have to forget?
To let go, to move forward, to heal after the loss of a loved one you do not have to forget them to get to the part of life where you still carry the wound but you are able to feel the joy and the sun again.
Healing. Letting Go. Moving Forward. This isn't about forgetting.
Do I still remember my late husband? Of course I do. I remember the first time I met him at a country music festival and how we laughed and danced and sang until the sun came up. I remember him every day. I see him in our children. I hear his laughter on the breeze. I hear him guiding me every day of my life and telling me......"Move forward, Nik. Turn left, Nik. That's your path, Nik."
Moving forward isn't about forgetting.
You don't have to erase the memories to heal your heart.
Yes, when you are first grieving the memories hurt. They hurt like hell. They remind you of what will never be again. They remind you of when you were happy and life was in one piece.
But eventually, in time, the memories become a part of you. They bring peace. They bring happiness.
Eventually, the memories are these little wonderful reminders that you had this person in your life. That you loved this person and shared so many experiences with them. They live forever in your memory. No one can take that away from you and to move forward, to let go of the suffering, to heal......you don't have to give away the memories. They are yours to keep. They make you who you are and they remind you that this person you lost is always, always with you. All you have to do is conjure up a memory of them. That time you both were belly laughing so hard. That time they hugged you when you were sad. That time you hiked that trail together. All those times you were in a crowd together or at a party and they looked at your from across the room and smiled and you knew that this was your person and you felt safe and loved. Those memories are still yours. Keep them in your heart.
Letting go of our suffering only means to untie the chains that are making your heart bleed. The chains that are suffocating you. The chains that are binding you to the pain. You can slowly let go of the suffering when you come to know that you cannot change what happened and that letting go does not mean forgetting. I have let go of my late husband, my truest friend, so that his soul can be free. I have let go of thinking he will walk back through the kitchen door. I have let go of the future we had planned. And I have let go of the me that I was five minutes before I knew he was dead. And I still remember him. And he's still in my heart.
Moving forward does not mean moving on. It only means that you realize that life doesn't stop for your grief. Life keeps going, you keep living, you keep getting older and you have the choice of what you do with your own time left on this earth. When my late husband died I could have fallen into a bottle of vodka. I could have fallen completely apart. I could never gotten out of bed. Never opened the curtain. Never came out of the basement where I screamed and wailed for hours each day. But eventually I crawled up out of that basement. I stayed away from anything that wasn't going to aid in my healing. I got to the top of those basement stairs and the sun burned my eyes at first but eventually that sun brought me joy again. And I'm not exactly sure how that works.....how healing finally washes over you and you choose to get out there and live again. I don't know exactly how it works because it's so different for each person who is grieving. I only know that for me it was a choice. A choice to get the hell up and get out there in my life again. I keep the memories. I keep the love. I still suffer. I still grieve. There are moments that still rip at my heart and have me holding my breathe. But it's apart of me now.
The memories will carry you through.
The memories are yours to keep.
You don't have to forget. You never have to forget.
Grieve. Feel the pain. Reach out for guidance and healing. Cry. Wail. Scream. Get out all of their pictures and remember.
Let the memories wash over you.
Let the memories fill your soul with love.
Let the memories live forever in your heart and carry you into your future.