Welcome to Mother’s Backyard Buzz Podcast on the Grief Journey.
This is episode #4 – #empathyforgrief podcast where we “break the silent struggle” with grief by unpacking my book: “My Backyard Garden – A Memoir of How Love Conquers Grief.”
What else do we have when our loved one dies?
They are not here with us anymore in the physical world. We can’t see or touch them or talk with them now, only maybe to them. I do talk “to” my mother. I remember a co-worker encouraged me to talk to her still and I do sometimes. For me it was not talking out loud; but is more of thoughts in mind to her.
Talking out loud to your deceased loved one works for some people and not for others. It’s strange because sometimes talking to my mother out loud, especially about problems that I’m facing makes me feel as if I’m bothering her with the troubles of this world after she has passed on to a better world. It’s as if I hear Mahalia Jackson singing the lyrics to the spiritual, “soon I will be done with the troubles of this world, troubles of this world, troubles of this world.” Then I feel a little selfish because my mother is done with the troubles of this world so why am I trying to pull her back into them.
It was very important to me to touch my mother one last time and to see her alive. I was very grateful for that. I know many don’t even get that chance to physically touch their loved one a last time knowing that they are going to die.
The grief journey makes our lives are very different in the physical world
Now that our loved one is absent from the physical world, what can we do? So I ask you, can the memory be something physical? If you get something physical that is also meaningful, I believe you’re blessed. Some people don’t get or have anything physical as a memory of their loved one. It was important to me to have something physical, especially near the beginning of my grief journey. I needed to and wanted to touch things that belonged to her. I think that is why we keep mementoes.
Well, I needed something physical as well as a place to hold on to that could bring her memory back to me. Do you have one thing that really reminds you of your loved one? I have a red leather cap that my mother bought once when she travels with me to Las Vegas while I was managing a conference. That memory can come to mind like it was yesterday and when I look at that red leather hat that hands visibly in my closet helps me steady my grief journey.
Initially I would put it on, now I can just glimpse at it and the moment comes alive.
What do we have in addition to memories when our loved one dies?
Mementoes. Do you collect mementoes? Tell stories about them? Like my mother’s red cap, mementoes became prompts for me in the physical world. We even make and display collections of memorabilia or mementoes for other reasons.
Why not for our grief journey in memory of our loved one. I collect Starbucks geo coffee mugs as a way to remember where I’ve traveled. There was a long period in my life where I was so busy working and traveling that I had few personal memories. I mean they were being made of course; but, I wasn’t recording or really cherishing them. I was starting to realize that my life was moving by so fast that I needed to at least take pictures with my phone each day and review my pictures before I went to sleep to remember the pleasant scenes that I had noticed during my busy day.
Now that I’m awake and realized I’m on my grief journey. I also realized that I can now decide what memories and mementoes I want to create. Just as I selectively take pictures of scenes when I travel. I encourage you loved ones to find a way to take “the greatest” with you and express that love through memorabilia or mementoes that you have or something you create in their memory. Remember to show yourself some empathy during your journey or for your loved one who is on this grief journey. #empathyforgrief will help break the silent struggle with grief.
Peace, Blessings & What’s Next
Thanks loved ones for listening to Mother’s Backyard Buzz. #empathyforgrief. This is Debra Hester, (http://mothersbackyard.org/author/ ) breaking the silent struggle with grief. Remember: move forward from grief with love and more empathy, less sympathy. If you found the podcast helpful subscribe to me on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts from. To learn more about my mission, check our my website and reach out to me on my blog at: www.mothersbackyard.com. My book is available on Amazon & Barnes & Nobles. Please leave me a podcast review on what you’d like me to address from my book or personal experience. Leave comments on the podcast and let me know how you’re doing with your grief journey. Join us next week when the buzz will be about ” a secret society”. Peace & Blessings