Memories and Photos

First of all, I would just like to say what a brilliant and truly caring website this is.
The stories I’ve read on this site are really touching and you feel for the people concerned, but I think its very important that as human beings we talk about how we feel and express emotions (however sad or unhappy they are) It isn’t always easy to talk, but I find it helps and its often vital to our mental
and physical well being. I think of it like your Brain has to have a safety valve to let off steam and pressure to stop you bottling things up and eventually going mad. Talking and expressing your feelings/thoughts can help tremendously and other people will help you with their point of view. People seem to be very caring on this site and are trying to help others and that’s brilliant.
My unhappiness relates to my Mom and Dad who I miss so much. I often find myself thinking about
good times with them in the past and reminiscing with an old photo or two, and it does lift your mood. But at times I find this very upsetting/unsettling as well, because I wish I was back in the past with them in that time and that situation. Then all the bad stuff comes up surrounding their deaths and my mind gets mixed up with all these good and bad emotions.
How can you get a balance between keeping all your happy memories in one place, keep the bad stuff out of the way and not live in the past too much? Sometimes I struggle with all these emotions and find it really brings me down almost to the point of being depressed. My dad passed away nearly a year ago now, so its coming up to his anniversary soon. It was my moms birthday a few days ago (she passed away 12 years ago) I miss them more and more and wish they were still here with me today. They were both elderly when they died (79 & 91) and each had a good life but it still hurts.
How can I control my thoughts and stop feeling churned up inside with my feelings? Are photos and
memories bittersweet? I suppose I’m not the only one who feels like this on a daily basis, but I was just wondering how other people cope and deal with similar feelings?

3 Likes

Some days I look at his picture and it makes me smile. Some days it makes me weep. I cry because of the finality of death, something I cannot change, no matter how I want it to be otherwise. Some days I feel like all I am is memories - good & bad - both come and go at will. I try to “control” the bad ones by telling myself that is the past, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change it. I tell myself “not to go there”. It works sometimes. My good memories are bittersweet. They make me smile but they are tinged with sadness. I have a hard time controlling my thoughts, some of them are uncontrollable and I just have to ride them out. Sometimes I can tell myself to suck it up & move on to something else, ( like going for a walk or doing a chore). It’s like I’m distracting (or trying to) the sadness I carry with me. I am still grieving his loss, and I will until the end of my days. I’m learning how to make this my new existence…This is a very hard road to travel…

3 Likes

Hello Rob
I agree with everything that Heather_Diane is saying. We have to learn to live with this existence and find a balance between remembering those happy moments and another day those same thoughts will crack us up.
When I am struggling I also find something to help me move on and find something else to think about. Like a walk with the dogs or I go into a exercise regime or do some Yoga.
Yesterday I had a meltdown, the worst I’ve had in ages and went out caught a bus and changed the scenery around me. What happened to make me feel like this. I listened to a CD of my husband singing and on it along with hearing him sing I could hear him thanking the audience. I am lucky to be able to listen to his voice but I am still not quite strong enough even after nearly two years. It is a hard road and just when you think that your doing quite well, memories come along and slap you down again.
xx

2 Likes

Thank you Robt1 for such an interesting post, I am trying to cope since my beloved husband, Stan died suddenly 13 months ago. We had had 62 years together, 59 of them married. I have said so many times that I do not want to appear greedy but we loved each other very much. I have realised that there are many members of this forum who do not have a fraction of the time which we had and my heart aches for them.
I do gain comfort from looking at his photos most of the time, other times it is heartbreaking, you are not alone.
You are very welcome and I hope that you will continue to post.
Cheers,
MaryL.

4 Likes

Robt1 you have just brought up an interesting topic. How do we separate the good memories from the bad. it really does bring struggles that we could well do without. I was doing just about O.K. realizing how poorly my husband had been and therefore not suffering. Then I framed two lovely photos of him and it brought back what he was like, always happy and smiling and how much we loved each other. It has made me sad and even more alone. So just how DO we separate these feelings.

1 Like

I also framed and had photo’s of my husband all over the house and then after months of having them around it became too much and I had to put them away. Fortunately I have now managed to get them out again. It just takes time to adjust.
xxx

1 Like

Good to know that erratic flip-flops like that are OK.

1 Like

I like that “appear greedy” thing. Only yesterday I was thinking how damn lucky we were the pair of us to love and to be loved. I thought some people never know that feeling. I felt so lucky, almost happy. That lasted a little while, then I thought, hang on a minute, what are you so happy about, you haven’t got that any more, and then thinking about the people that never had, and the mood went through the floor. @Robt1 I imagine there’s some kind of answer to your question in there. Any memory is going to be both good and bad. I’m trying not to turn them over too much when they - memories- come and go, but just ride along with the good bits and put up with the bad bits. As for photos - I am going through a no photos no music phase at the moment, as they encourage too many memories to deal with all in one go, so a bit like @Pattidot, they are being rationed/stowed away. Time’s not right again.

2 Likes

Hi Wil and Rob
There seems to be no text book way of dealing with memories. One minutes they bring us great joy and the next they plummet us down into the pit of despair.
Nearly two years and I still can’t listen to my husbands lovely voice on the CD’s. I break down every time without fail and then I don’t bother to put then on for another few months and have another go as I did yesterday. I sing along with him but it’s no use. It’s just too painful and doesn’t seem five minutes since I was watching him on stage, so we have to do things at our own pace. His photo’s are now back in place again and so far so good although I did put them away for a few months and then got them out one by one.
I think like you Wil, how lucky was I to find this man and then I curse him for meeting me and now causing me so much pain. What a roller coaster we find ourselves on. No wonder our heads are all over the place.
Pat

1 Like

Thank you pattidot

Thanks jean2

Thanks maryl

Thank you heather _diane

1 Like

Thanks wil58

1 Like

Dear Robt1 I am sorry you are feeling so mixed up but I quite understand. My husband died 6 months ago and I am only just beginning to feel OK. I am 80 years old and we were married for 60 years. I too look into the past quite often but don’t live there as I am too busy keeping my head above water. I’ve had some counselling but don’t believe it made much difference. I know it sounds trite but I believe you will feel more balanced in time. There is no harm in looking at the past but it is important if you can to pay attention to the present. All the best to you. All the best and I’ve forgotton my code name.!

3 Likes

Hello bedraggled,
Welcome to this forum where nobody wants to be, you and I are in similar circumstances, I was 81 last August and when my husband died in August 2019 we had been married for 59 years. We have 2 children who are in their 50’s a daughter and a son, they live 80 miles away in opposite directions, I am practically housebound due to various medical conditions. We are living in very trying times with this pandemic in all my long life I have never known anything like it. I can remember very clearly the smallpox epidemic and the polio but nothing like this.
I hope you are staying safe, take care,
MaryL.

1 Like

Hi Robt1, l’m going through something similar at the moment, my lovely Mum passed away on the 27th December and all those feelings are still as raw today and it’s starting to overwhelm me as we near Christmas and the “anniversary”…l still have a lot of anger towards some people because l believe that she was let down. But l have a lot of not just good memories but warm brilliant ones, my Mum got to go to Los Angeles with me and meet my very good friend at Universal - it turned out to be our last holiday together, so bittersweet l guess - but those memories are real and alive as are the emotions attached to them and l find comfort within them. The hardest part l have is letting go of her things and l know its stuff but it’s like l’m letting her go too and that’s upsetting although l know she is still with me…but it is an ongoing struggle…hugs