The book arrived from the Allison Gilbert, an author that has nudged me to begin this site. I discovered her online when I was researching ways to honor anniversaries and legacies of loved ones who have left us.
Here are some wise words from her book:
~”Mourning, is not about relinquishing our relationships with the deceased, but about finding appropriate ways to stay connected. To have ongoing dialogues and internal relationships with lost loved one, is part of a healthy, normal mourning process.” ~ words from Louise J. Kaplin’s book, No Voice is Ever Wholly Lost.
Well, thank goodness, I was thinking others might think I was schizophrenia seeing me talking out loud to you, or writing letters to you and FROM you in my notebook.
~There is “importance in actively remembering our loved ones, and of the strong impulse to celebrate their legacies moving forward. The antidote to forgetting, is not simply remembering, it’s reinforcing those memories again and again and preserving them for posterity.“
“One of the problems in our society is that people fail to recognize the importance of a continued relationship with the person we have loved and lost. Many think that to deal with the loss you have to forget the person who has died [and move on]” ~ words from Theresa Rando’s book How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies.
Intentionality is her focus here. Like a practice, she is urging us to cultivate an intentional habit of remembering rather than just waiting for it to happen randomly or on holidays or anniversaries.
I can do this.
~Teresa Rando, goes on to list four processes individual must successfully navigate in order to be considered fully resolved in their grief. “Keeping your loved one alive” is one of them. Grief councelsors urge the mourner to take control of “the process of remembering”. The mourner needs to “take action”.
Here is the part I resonated with the most:
“Death makes you feel out of control. Being proactive makes you feel stronger. Taking steps to remember leads to empowerment, and feeling empowerment is absolutely necessary for living a full, happy, and loving life.”
So, in gathering these tokens of my father, I feel lighter, like I have a job to do, it gives me a focus on something I can do in my process of mourning. It helps me be happier. We all need intentional practices for self-care to bring us happiness. After all, we are in charge of our own happiness. It’s not the responsibility of anyone else.
But, as an added benefit, it may help my own children, grandchildren and perhaps nieces or nephews remember and know who their grandpa was so that he is not forgotten.