The Photo Story. Revisited

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. 
Photo memories are so important in our healing processes. This one popped up in my Facebook feed last week. My mother died in February 2015. This photo was taken three years later after her husband died, my step-father, and I was visiting for the service and the subsequent dispersal and moving of the estate “stuff.” I ended up with another shelf of boxes in my garage! The revisit to her death seemed to become completed in the death of her husband and their relationship. The revisit to the memory of two deaths in one photo was what happened when that FB memory returned. It is so timely to Mother’s Day!
Holidays and traditions and anniversaries… This is where grief resides. It is one of the universal Influencers on crossing your grief bridge. The shift from a painful reminder into a softer more nostalgic and loving memory is how we go from Coping with Loss into Being with Loss. This is how time can affect the outcome.
Mother’s Day is one of those memory lane trips or trip-ups. It is easy for me to sit in the nostalgia since my mother’s death five years ago. I have an honorary camelia in my backyard. I have gone through those boxes and found place for the keepsakes. I have become a grandmother and have a new relationship in my memories for her as grandmother. And even in the death of her husband, I was gifted with new healing conversations which came forth through that shared grief. This is an example of the longer walk with grief in life’s journey.
But Mothers Day’s is not all rosy and can be very different for many people in grief.  
  • There is the grief of being a mother without her child. There is no nostalgia for the what-could-have-been; only the ache of longing.
  • There can be the grief of unhealed and unfinished relationships as much as profound loss in a deeply loved and mutual relationship.
  • There are the reminders of one more – day, week, year – without. The reminder of an unavoidable and unrequested change.
The Photo Story is a great writing prompt for your memories. Choose a photo and create the narrative to go with it: Storytelling, feelings, reaction, caption. It can be long or short. Allow whatever comes up to show itself. You can lean into the unveiling. You might also try Revisiting Your Photo Story, as I have done here because it came up via a Facebook memory. You might see a few of your own On This Day memories unexpectedly. It isn’t always FB or social media. Often these memories find us through other synchronistic means. If you stumble into one of these memories, you can take an opportunity to invite her in, tell her what you’ve come to learn or know since you last met. Be nostalgic in softening of your pain as you hold onto the lesson of love.

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