Re-mem-ber — to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of.

It seems we always are trying to remember something — the items on the grocery list we left at home, the appointment we missed last week or location of the cell phone.



Re-mem-ber — to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of.
It seems we always are trying to remember something — the items on the grocery list we left at home, the appointment we missed last week or location of the cell phone.
There also are people we don’t want to forget, particularly those who no longer are physically present with us because of death.
Remembering is one of the best ways to continue to love. It also is true remembering can wear many different faces and those faces sometime peek out at us when we least expect them.
There is the face of sadness as we reflect on all we miss since that person is gone. While we may want to avoid the sadness, facing and embracing it generally lessens rather than increases it.
The face of regret may cause us to think of all the coulda/woulda/shouldas that can be part of any relationship.
They may stem from our own lack of response or from what we felt we missed from the one who died.
Remembering includes acknowledging the regrets when they exist but also recognizing the face of gratitude.
Bringing to mind all the good things we loved and enjoyed about the one who has died; giving thanks for the positive and ongoing ways that their life has impacted our own.
Remembering someone after a death often requires time for sorting through the memories.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it does allow for clarification and a new perspective. When sorted and processed, the most painful memories can fade and the best and most treasured can rise to the surface as the face of a new perspective begins to show up more frequently.
The face of hope is closely related. Hope that maybe life can have purpose and joy again.
Hope that one has opportunity to encourage and live out the qualities of the one who died, and in so doing, keep their memory alive and their influence active.
The word “remember” also means to know by heart. Those who have been a significant part of our lives are part of us forever. We remember, know and love them by heart and they continue to give us courage to face the future.

— Nadine Friesen is bereavement coordinator with Hospice Care of Kansas, including Newton, and is a presenter for “Caring for the Caregiver” conferences.