Monday, October 10, 2011

Memorial Tributes

Dear Reader,

When I walked through the door on my very first visit to the grief support group, the air was so heavy I had to catch my breath. Memories weighted the atmosphere and almost crushed me. But I went back each week and we slogged through the heaviness, leaned into those memories, rode out the waves of grief. And then, finally, the air lightened. Faces brightened. We started to remember more than the pain. We remembered the life, the goodness, the love. Choosing to remember is one way to deal with the pain.

But some individuals and cultures deal with grief by choosing to forget. Its like they shut the door to that period of life; take the pictures off the walls, get rid of all the person's belongings, start dating right away. . . I'm reading the story of a man who escaped the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, Africa in the 1990's. His culture calls it gusimbura: you don't talk about the dead, you don't name them. You're reminding people and it's not acceptable.

What do you think? Do you choose to remember, or do you gusimbura when it comes to grieving? I'm not asking if one is right and the other is wrong. I'm just asking which one you're inclined towards. Do you wish there was a Rewind button to take you back to what used to be? Or are there days you wish for a Fast Forward button on your life?

If you choose to remember, I invite you to visit the Memorial Wall on the tab at the top of this blog. Send your tribute in and I'll let you know as soon as I've posted it, usually by the end of the day. The Memorial Wall is also a great prayer reminder. Copy and paste it to a Word doc, print it out and keep it in your Bible so you can pray for other widows. I pray for them by the month, and each week I send widows names (first names only to protect identity) to my church prayer list which goes out to over 100 people. Isn't it great to know that so many people will be praying for you?

So, if you'd like, email me at to add your tribute today or anytime.

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