It’s important that preserving memories is done as soon as possible because memories can be fragile.
You could start an annual tradition that involves stories and pictures. Get family and friends to find a picture of your loved one and write a couple of sentences about it. Buy a binder so you are preserving memories in one spot. They will remind you of how their life touched others. They will also tell stories (to those too young) of things that may get forgotten.
Memories help us widows to find some joy while we are grieving. It takes some time, but at some point there will be a healing of your broken heart. I’ve been surprised by the legacies that widows have received, even within the constraints of resources and time.
I find appealing idea’s, that are simple and within our abilities, worth trying. An example: Their loved one (before they get too sick) writing out birthday cards for each grandchild till they reach the age of eighteen. The widow would pass the cards to their grandchildren on their birthdays.
Memories and legacies need not be expensive or ambitious. There are a variety of ways to leave a legacy that will ensure they are remembered. We might share their stories, describing our loved one’s life in a wonderful memoir whose narrative is held together by stories of how his life affected those around him.
I’ve seen the sense of closure that comes with reviewing the past, sharing a life review full of memories and history. Preserving memories by taking an event that happened in the past and weaving a story out of it. In the process of building a story out of your memory, buff away the pain and create something you can share. A story is a magnificent way to put you back in control and your memories will live on.
A memory might not have been so funny at the time it actually occurred, but this is where you can craft it into a really good story. It’s okay to exaggerate some of the funnier details while leaving out some of the sadder ones. There will be some that think you are telling the whole truth, but I think it’s perfectly find to make this your story.
Tell your stories, be kind to both yourself and your man. Memories told in stories show that you can laugh at yourself and that your memories will not be lost.
Mary Francis, The Sisterhood of Widows
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