Memory-Sharing--Tribute to Jim Continued

Memory-Sharing--Tribute to Jim Continued

This blog is an extended postscript to the last part—Memory-Sharing --to balance the intrinsic value of becoming comfortable as well as generous with time in giving and receiving shared-memories.

When I was four years old and broke the doll Santa had brought, my dad turned all his considerable repair skills toward the task of restoring the doll, but it was an impossible task.  Remembering that time, though, has filled my mind all day with wonderful memories of him and all the things he was able to fix for me! What a great thing it is to have had a father who gave unconditional love and created a beautiful facsimile of our father in heaven. I know Jim did the same thing for your children—and for Clara! P.

Thank you for sharing. I love to read your emails, especially this one about Jim. G.

This one-sentence response from a church friend reflects what I hear from church members, neighbors,

and former church members and friends who’ve moved away and read the blogs and visiting with Jim’s and my siblings and relatives.  I never get tired of talking, writing or hearing about Jim.

Dear, Dear Ruth!

This is so lovely!! What great warming Happy Birthday gifts for Jim! You're still wrapped in Jim's love, life, strength, care and ministry! May the seasons of family, joy and God's love continue to warm and comfort you in memories with family to surround you. My love and friendship to you. BP.

The responses have not only been encouraging to me but have pinpointed another important memory-sharing area that others, besides me, would be wise to keep in mind. It’s not merely the partner who grieves the vacancy left by a death, but children/grandchildren also grieve their deceased parents, grandparents/relatives. Being reminded of what they said or did makes delightful family conversation.

We siblings, in our weekly phones to each other, nearly always involve something Mom said. Eileen, (Mac’s wife) nearly always says something about Jim or Mom in our weekly chats.  They were both very precious to Eileen and she special to them.

At my 50th high school reunion, the class president said, "When I see you, I think of your mom who gave me vocal lessons."   Steve asked if I knew that your mom used to give me organ lessons?  She was the most patient person I have ever known.”  I appreciated those memories. B

It behooves the living parent to keep in mind the importance of sharing his/her memories about the children’s deceased parent.  My children often mention how much they appreciate it when I write and speak about Jim. And, in turn, I cherish hearing their memories. This point was made very clear this week as I chatted with sister-in-law, Eileen, who enjoys rehearsing her favorite memories of Jim when we visited their home.  And the same joy when sharing Jim-memories with Jim’s sister and his cousin-brother during our phone visits. My brothers and sister always mention something about Jim when we chat by phone.

I often hear expressed, “I’d like to talk about how much I miss my parent (s) with his relatives, but I don’t know how to handle it if they should cry.”  Tears are healing, as we’ve discussed, and to avoid tears may be avoiding a conversation the relative needs to have.

If you have a response centered around Memory-sharing or have thought of something I’ve missed, please email me.  I’ll always find a way to include what we all need to know.

For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. PS. 107:9 ESV

Dear Father, we know that you care about our sadness and emptiness in losing loved ones. Help us to be sensitive to those who need or desire to hear and/or share their memories about deceased loved ones, and not to be overly concerned about the ensuing tear-shedding of sadness and/or joy in remembrance.

FB: Is there a relative or friend who would enjoy sharing their memories?  Click on: view Kurt’s Scene.