Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Widow's Choice: Remembering or Forgetting

Dear Reader,

When I walked through the door on my first visit to a 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 began 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.

Sunset in Hawaii by Sherry Luttrell
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 read the story of a man who escaped the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, Africa in the 1990's. His culture chose to forget. They called it gusimbura: you don't talk about the dead, you don't name them. You're reminding people and it's not acceptable.

Which do you choose? Are you a "rememberer," or a "forgetter" 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. Or are there days you wish for a fast forward button on your life? Click the word "Comment" below and send in your thoughts.

Here's something else: every month I post the particular month's Memorial Wall. Just scroll down and you'll see September's listing. If you'd like to add your tribute, please take a look at how it's done and email me your information at I'll be glad to serve you by adding it to our wall.

Here's what to state:
  • Date of passing
  • Your name (first name only is fine)
  • Your spouse's name and (if you want to) cause of death
  • If you have children, their names and how old they were when their dad (or mom) passed.
  • Optional: Add a sentence or two you'd like to say.
  • Optional: general location--state or country

  • Each month I use this listing as a prayer guide and I'm thankful to know that others also use it to pray for you. Thanks for visiting the WCP today, and thanks for your prayers too.


    1. Hi Ferree. I am someone who remembers although there have been times when I've wished that I could forget. Yet, it I were to do that, I would forget all of the good parts of my life of which there were many. It's a conundrum for sure.


      1. Conondrum---that's the perfect description! I find that sometimes we just need to let the memories lie down and rest. Sometimes we can even "be done" with that chapter of our life, but yet we still remember....


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