A message from Joan Souders, CGE, grief support specialist

The 14th of February is a day many children look forward to as Valentines are exchanged and fun goodies are brought into the classroom.

Memories of those days are fun to think about, and as time moves on, we giggle at those school memories. It is also fun to remember getting dressed up for the middle school Valentine’s Day dance. I recall that at one of my dances, a boy made me laugh. Jell-O was served at the party and he said, “My Jell-O is nervous. It’s wiggling!” Those around him all laughed as we enjoyed our nervous Jell-O.

To be honest, that was a long time ago. However, it is fun to look back on those carefree days of growing up. You see, our memories never die.

At a recent grief support group that I led a kind gentleman shared about going out of state to visit his newly departed wife’s grave. He shared how at peace he felt after leaving the cemetery. The more he talked the more I realized that love never dies.

He also told me about visiting his baby’s grave. Their firstborn child was stillborn and they had the baby buried in the Children’s Angel Garden. While this gentleman visited his wife’s grave, his son went through the cemetery staff records and found the location of his sibling’s grave. He talked about how good it was to go to the baby’s grave and leave a flower. The father and living son spent time there remembering and talking.

The dad thanked his son and said, “Your mother and I never forgot that baby. We’d talk about that sad day and often wished it had been different. Son, love never dies. It just looks different as time moves on. All these years the baby held a place in my heart.”

The gentleman is over 80 years old and still holds onto the love he had for that baby. I learned a lot from him in the support group. His wisdom and understanding of the cycle of life are wonderful.

On your grief journey, remember that no matter how painful, numb, angry and confused you might be, your loved one lives on in your heart and the memories help bring healing to the pain of your sorrow. So, stop, take time and allow the memories to guide you through your journey. You might just find yourself giggling.

Do you want to speak to someone about your grief?

Processing your story and journey in a supportive environment can be healing. Connect with a Heartlinks grief counselor by calling (509) 837-1676.

Heartlinks’ grief support groups provide a safe place to share one’s emotions with others who are also grieving. They are a great place to learn from others’ experiences. RSVP is not required. Visit our Grief Support page to learn more about upcoming groups in your area.

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