Grief Series: Memories Are Painful

Published: March 5, 2022

“There are so many memories of the good times shared, but when I think of them, I feel such pain.”

It is so common to hear grievers say that. Memories can be triggered by any of the senses – by a taste, smell, touch, sight, or sound. It is no wonder that they appear out of nowhere, often leaving you feeling like you have been hit by a truck, sending pain to the core of your body. Early in the grief process, memories often cause a feeling of sadness. However, there is a time in your journey through grief when you realize there is a flip in that memories begin to bring you joy instead of sadness. It is at this point that you know you are healing.

Some fear they will forget things like the sound of his voice or special times shared. Here are some tips to help you handle memories:

  • Talk about the person freely. Invite others to talk about him as well. Mentioning your loved one’s name should be as comfortable and natural as you would like it to be.
  • Create a scrapbook. It can be as detailed as you would like it to be. Don’t get caught up in getting exact dates correct. Focus more on the event or what sticks out to you as important from that event.
  • Write down sayings or phrases that she typically used. These usually bring a smile to you when thought of.
  • Record anecdotal stories related to photographs you have of your loved one.
  • Invite others to write about special memories they have of your loved one.
  • There are positive and negative memories. Sometimes you may need to take another look at the negative memory and work on forgiving yourself or forgiving your loved one for something that took place. This may require the help of a professional counselor.

Losing someone close can be difficult to handle alone. Do you need help? Call (800) 801-4182 or (402) 354-8000 to schedule a confidential appointment.

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Written by Amy Monzingo, MS, LMHP, LMHC, Best Care EAP counselor, the 12-part Grief Series deals with all kinds off issues individuals go through on their grief journey. Whatever the cause of your grief, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss and eventually move on with your life. 

About the Author

Amy Monzingo has been in the counseling field since 1997. She joined Best Care EAP in 1999. 

Education: BS in Human Development, MS in Community Counseling; Licensed Mental Health Practitioner.

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