Remembering by Sharing Their Stories
I want to talk to you about something that is really hard to talk about because most of us do not want to deal with it, and that is death. When somebody close to us dies or when somebody we are close to knows someone that has died, it’s a very difficult thing. It’s hard to walk through it.
I was visiting with a lady today who has had multiple times in her life when people close to her have died. She has other people with whom she is connected who have had people that have died. She was trying to talk through this and figure out what to do, and she was saying, “I don’t want to call them up and say ‘how are you doing’ because with me, I wanted to say ‘I’m not good. Don’t ask that question. This is not easy. This is horrible. This is too hard.’ So I don’t want to call these people, even though I know I need to call them, because I don’t know what to say.”
As we were talking about it, I said, “What if you would say something like ‘I’ve been thinking about you a lot, so I thought I would call.’ Then, after you’ve visited a little bit, say, ‘Do you want to share stories about this person’s life?’” Just encourage them not to forget because they don’t forget! Everybody else around them does, but when you lose someone close to you, you don’t forget that person. In fact, you think about them everyday. My dad has been gone almost 47 years now, and I still think about him almost everyday. I love to share stories about him.
We were talking, and she said, “That’s just so perfect! Now being the end of the year, I can call up each one of them, and we can just share stories. That will let them call me whenever they are ready to hear another story.” And so the healing began. That’s what I think is important for us to do: to help with the healing but not to negate the fact that that person was in our life and had an impact on us and that we will always have that person with us even though, physically, that person is gone. We will have them in our hearts, we will have them in our heads, and we will love to talk about them. Yes, there will be tears and sadness when we talk about them, but it really is a sweet thing to visit about the person and love on those who are still trying to deal with it.
I think one of the best things we can do is keep pictures around of the people who are gone out of our lives. We started talking about that, and she said, “Yeah, I’ve been taking pictures of birds lately, and I just love to share them with people because that is something that helps me to heal.” I was thinking, “There you go! That’s life. That’s celebrating life in the middle of death.” So, sharing stories is always a good way to do healing and to help connect people.