More Than a Memory
I woke up today, seven years after Mandy died, and asked myself if all of this had been a bad dream. It didn’t take long before I answered myself…no, it was not a dream. Why after so many years is her death so difficult for me to grasp? I keep asking myself that question over and over. I’m not really sure there are any answers, but here are my thoughts.
Yesterday and today, I have been focused on the hours leading up to that final time, the day before her death, her death, and the day after her death. In the first few years that was the routine, going over the day before she died with the family all gathered together, the day she died, and the day after she died. Like a broken record, over and over and over again. That was all I could see and hear and think about. Then, gradually that faded unless something reminded me. The fourth and fifth of February always brought those memories up regardless of what I did or did not do. Time has not erased the memories, just softened, and blurred them.
After the first two or three years I was just better at disguising my feelings. Possibly that is because I got tired of people making remarks about the length of my grief, or just ignoring me altogether. Whatever the reason, after a while I noticed I was making it through the day without my insides in a tight wad and tears. That certainly does not mean I have forgotten our child, or that I no longer grieve. I will never forget our beautiful daughter, and grieving will be my forever life – just not the same as the first years.
“Mandy is not just a memory, she is as much in my mind and heart as my other children…and they are not memories.”
Several weeks before my beautiful daughter died she told me that in five years she would be just a memory. I gasped and told that NO she would never be just a memory. I promised her she would always be real and constant in my life. She is. Yes, there have been times when she does fade, and then something will jog my mind and she is right there just like before. I do not believe my grief is any less than it was seven years ago, just very different. Mandy is not just a memory, she is as much in my mind and heart as my other children…and they are not memories.
Whatever the reason, there are some times when the grief is sharper and more intense. It may be a number on a calendar that remembers a special date, a smell of her favorite perfume that draws me away for a while, a song that takes my breath away remembering her, or a picture of the most beautiful smile in the world. All of these things, and many more, can once again cause the intense feelings, and yet they are wonderful – because I can honestly say that Mandy is not just a memory. She is real. As you walk along this path you will also realize your child is much more than a memory.
Focusing on How They Lived
The Holiday Season
Remembering Where we Succeeded