The loss of someone dear, like a child, provides a lifetime of painful memories. And if we allow them to, they will occupy 100% of our thoughts day in and day out. I struggle with this just like you do. Somehow it is always easier to concentrate on the bad instead of the good. But, like choosing to be a pessimist instead of than an optimist, it is always a choice.
I had errands to run today and of course, it was pouring rain. Nothing like wet bags of groceries, wet pant legs and drips on me from an unknown source inside the car. But once finished, I was going to spend time with a special loved one. Daydreaming, I went past the street where I was supposed to turn so I had to keep going straight until I could find a place to turn around and get back on track. This action prompted a distant memory.
I was running errands (seems like we do this our entire lives) and I had the children safely seated behind me. They were chatting loudly as young children can do and my blood pressure was climbing. I was driving in unfamiliar territory and their noise wasn’t helping any. As gently as I could under the circumstances (yes, that is how I remember it) I stated, “Children, Mommy needs you to be quiet a minute. I made a mistake and I need to figure out how to get turned around.”
Silence. Not a peep from the back seat. After watching the road signs, changing lanes and making a few turns, we were headed in the right direction. Still silence. Not a word was heard from the back seat. This is kinda nice, I thought to myself. I could get used to this!
Just then, my older child spoke up, “Mommy, are you through making mistakes yet?”
Tender moment. Sweet child. Precious treasured memory to be called up time and time again and I have and laugh all over again. When I can, I share the joy from these funny stories with others. You try doing the same if you haven’t lately. Try to recall priceless gems from your memory bank and do it as often as possible. Let them gently or forcefully push the ugly, painful memories back into a corner of your mind.
Laughter. It is an odd sound after loss. I remember others trying to get me to laugh within days after my son’s death. What were they thinking? But it has been some years now and I realize that laughter is a necessary ingredient for this life we live. There are always tears. Make some of them from belly laughs.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3