Remembering those who have passed on

November 21, 2012

My memory box

We buried my grandfather over Thanksgiving weekend 1979, my grandmother just after the New Year’s Day 1996 and my mother on Christmas Eve of 1999.  So it’s no wonder that for me, the winter holidays can be really fraught.

Then, I read a newsletter from Hollister Rand, who wrote about just that subject. How holidays sometimes highlight the hole in our hearts left by the passing of family and friends dear to us and especially those with whom we shared holidays.

To help remind ourselves of happier times with our loved ones, she suggests making a memory box.

Find a nice box that you’ll designate as your memory box. Each day, think of a warm or funny memory of your loved one, write it on a slip of paper and place it in the box.

I love it: a boxful of happy memories that I can access and meditate on any time I like.

But which box to choose? I have a few that would suit the purpose, but I chose a box that I bought in Key West one Christmas in the early 1990s. It’s large, so I can keep putting memories in for a long time to come.

The best part is that if I feel blue about missing my loved ones any time during the year, all I need to do is open the box and choose a memory that makes me laugh or smile or just feel warm inside. I feel like I could fill the whole thing right now! I might even color code the paper by person, so if I’m missing my mom, I know just which colored slips hold my memories of her.

A whole pile of happy remembrances: what could be better?

Isn’t it a great idea?

How about you–how do you deal with missing your loved ones who have passed on?

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