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Grief/Dispair Healing Mental/Emotional Health Mindfulness Self-care

When Memories Are Not Enough: Finding Common Ground with Fate

Terrell Whitener

What do you do when memories are not enough? This is a question that many who have experienced the loss of someone significant in their lives have to come to grips with after a period pass. You find yourself repeating the same stories and referencing your loved to the same person or persons repeatedly. Though you do everything you can to try to refrain from doing, so it keeps happening. Though most of the time, people are polite, you can tell that this experience is not a pleasant one for them. Often many feel that you are romanticizing your relationship with the person you refer. To be completely honest, a bit of that is true. After entering this period of reflection related to the death of my spouse, I have discovered a different level of understanding and appreciation for what is occurring in my life. That is, I am working through “finding common ground with fate.”

Many times, what others may see as “romanticizing” is realizing what you truly valued in your relationship with your loved one. Of course, the person wasn’t perfect, nor was your relationship a perfect one as well. But it was meaningful and important to you. However, in coming to grips with finding this common ground, we should work toward finding the proper time and place to honor these valuable memories. Let me take a moment to suggest a few ways you can balance during these interactions with others:

1. Listen but don’t feel obligated to defend other observations if the fact that you are repeating yourself is pointed out to you.

2. Make a mental note of your behavior and try not to continue repeating the same stories to the individual or individuals if possible.

3. Journal to have a place to “get it out”! Journaling can give you a place to express the depth of your loss in a meaningful, appropriate, and beneficial way.

4. Recognize that the depth of the loss differs from person to person. Try to avoid taking the stance that they lack caring or concern, but the loss does not hold the same amount of emotional space in their life.

Though not a comprehensive list by any means, consider adopting the steps that make sense for you to take in your own path to finding common ground with fate.

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Terrell L Whitener is the author of the book The First 365 “Learning to Live After Loss” Author House Publishing. Contact Terrell at twhitener@thedebriefgroup.net LinkedIn @ Terrell Whitener

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