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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

In my 7th month, there have been unexpected medical issues for me, and my husband's birthday, and Valentine's Day, and other "hills" and hurdles.  But the bigger life lesson I have learned has been gaining understanding of my adult kids' perspectives.  They are busy with their careers, they live at a distance, and I, of course, wish for more contact.  If nothing more, I call and they always patiently listen.  But listening is not all I need.   I finally had to say that a call implies a conversation between two people - not a monologue from me.  If that is all it will be, then the focus remains on what is in my brain.  My brain would LOVE relief from it's constant disabled state.  It would like fresh input. 

It took some time, but my daughter finally said, in response to my request for memories, that she is "not at the same place as you, Mom".  She just can't go there.  Wow!  One simple statement taught me so much.  And I thanked her for her honesty, the honor of hearing her anguish, and explained better I was having trouble with memories.

A few days later, my son commented that he was puzzled that I seemed to need them to talk about their memories, as it implied (for him) that I had none and he was sure that couldn't be so.  But I responded, "But you're right!  My grief brain is so shattered, I can't remember anything.  I need help to find and remember and visit the good memories."  Neither one is quite ready to enter into this memory state.

You see, my immediate memories seem to have sadness and regret attached to them.  Finding the positive memories has been so elusive.  So, I have thanked both of my kids for their honesty and explained that I will keep trying to express myself better in order that we fully understand each other's perspectives.  Little by little I will get better at sharing with them why I say what I say or hope what I hope, and little by little I think I will find them opening up and letting their grief in enough to deal with it better over time.

Time - something they need.  Patience and listening to each little input - my life lessons I'm learning.   This is such a journey.

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Comment by ElleLee on March 6, 2013 at 7:47pm

Pat, I'm also at 7 months and have a hard time with memories as well.  I remember the feeling of love we shared, but not the memories that built that love.  I keep looking through pictures trying to remember.  I'm glad to hear I'm not totally alone on this.


Comment by Pat on March 6, 2013 at 6:51pm

Thank you, Suz.  My grief counselor and I skyped and he assured me that it is very common to not be able to pull up the memories - and that the good ones will come in time.  But I've stumbled over something that has helped me so tremendously.  I'll try to blog about it tonight.  It's not something everyone will have the fortune to experience, though.  It's a fluke of my life.  A beautiful gift kind of fluke.    

Comment by Suz on March 6, 2013 at 5:04pm


I have just passed my first anniversary and all of a sudden, I am getting more memories back. They seem so sweet and so unprepared for. I am so relieved! I really was starting to think that they would not come back. Maybe it is nature's way of protecting us at a time that we are going through so much stress...who knows. All I know is that they got better for me and it seemed like such a natural process when it happened. I am thinking that is may be similar for you and others.

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