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Not Made to Forget — grateful, yet grieving

Pam Luschei

Some habits are hard to break.  Last week I was signing a card for a friend who is getting married. As I signed the card with my name, I then continued to write the first letter of my husband’s name, before I stopped.  As I removed the pen with a jerk, I came to a slow awareness of how my thinking brain knows he’s gone, but my memory brain automatically kicks in.  I’ve heard of people who even after their spouse dies still pour two cups of coffee in the morning or set out two place settings for a meal.  It’s a strange phenomenon.

 There’s a unique process on how we adapt to life after loss.  Our heads hold facts and information while our hearts hold onto the patterns of doing things the way we use to when our loved one was alive.  There’s a saying, “our bodies remember what our mind forgets.”  Research has demonstrated how our bodies have a place for memories that we experience.  We are whole beings, with all our parts connected, body, mind, soul and spirit.  Psalm 139:14 reflects the beauty of our wholeness; “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.” 

 Our loved one is forever etched into the fiber of our being. We aren’t meant to forget. There’s a sweet mercy in remembering our loved one and talking about the memories we made together. We were attached to our loved one when they were alive and we are still attached after they are gone. There’s a quote by Helen Keller that reminds us of how true this is; “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” Loss allows us to remain connected as we remember our loved one. Because we loved, we grieve. And because we loved, we continue to love and always remember our loved one.

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Used with permission from Pam Luschei.

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