I still have pictures. In my closet. When ‘that moment’ hits, the pretty frame draws me in to remember.
Possibly you find it odd that I still have pictures of my late husband around after being re-married for over 2 and a half years. I however do not. Bill and I were married for 12 years. Imagine yourself in my shoes. Pictures are what we have left and how we keep his memory alive for Connor.
It may also shock you that I still have moments of grief-like ugly crying, in my closet grief. Usually my moments come when I realize something Bill is ‘missing out on’ in Connor’s life or when my heart feels really raw, like sharing about the accident. I hit the literal floor in our bedroom closet where that picture frame sits. I look at Connor as a baby and toddler. Then I look at Bill playing bass and us as a family.
I know beyond a shadow of doubt that today is where we are supposed to be and God has been with us through the tragedy. But moments hit. It can feel like a swinging pendulum, back and forth.
I have been reading Option B for a few weeks now (sorry reading a book around here takes some time!). This past chapter has been about building resilience in our children. As I read a few paragraphs about photos, video clips and general nostalgia it hit me about our photos-how we do it here. Sheryl Sandberg says:
‘Nostalgia’ comes from the Greek words nostos and algos, which mean ‘return’ and ‘pain’. Nostalgia is literally the suffering that we feel when we yearn for the past to come back to us, yet psychologists find that it is mostly a pleasant state. After people reflect on an event, they tend to feel happier and more connected to others.
I can sometimes feel the gasp when I mention Bill or when Connor talks about him. Then I realize it probably is a tension, it’s tough and a hard conversation. But here’s the thing, it’s our reality. We have no desire to carve out that part of our history or family, rather build on top of it.
In Heida’s thoughts of the day, I caution those that stay in nostalgia all the time though. I would say God is always moving us forward, we can look upon the past with a smile as we take our next step forward. Take the breathtaking moments as they come, review the nostalgia, and then review the beauty God has placed before you today.