I was having a conversation with my granddaughter recently, telling her a story about my mom, who had died way before she was born. She said to me, “you have a mom?” I realized that I rarely talk about her, and never told my granddaughters about her. When my mom died, in many ways so did her story, and I regret that.
I had a difficult relationship with my mom, but there are things about her that I see in myself that I love. And when I dance down the isles at the grocery store, or sew something beautiful on my sewing machine, or appreciate music, good food or laughter with friends, I am reminded of her each time.
When I sit at the bedside with a woman who is about to say goodbye to her mom, I am taken back every single time to the moment in my life when I said goodbye to mine. My memories resurface, and with time the anger and disappointment has faded and all I feel is a bit of sadness because I miss her and what we could’ve had. I stopped telling her story a very long time ago, and I want to change that.
Be the person that keeps the story going for the person you love who has died, make sure everyone knows who they were, what mattered most to them, what they might have accomplished, and what gifts they left with you.
If you keep telling their story, it might just keep being told long after you have died… and hopefully those who love you will do the same for you. But they need to know your story in order to tell it… now is a good time to start telling yours too.