Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Enduring Memory of the Lost

Perhaps without doubt the hardest adjustment of life is going on without a most-close loved one. I have never lost such a most-close loved one, a partner or a child, but I have lost something just as significant: a marriage.

Maybe you will relate in some different way.

What is the most precious possession, in the corpus of loss, is the endurance of the memory of whom or what was lost—it, or they, live on for us; it or they must.

They give solid meaning to the further expression of life for us. They make the future relevant for recognition of the past.

Not Denying Our Memories If We Can Bear Them

It may seem false and denying to entertain thoughts of lost ones or lost things living on through us or with us—but that’s not true. Where we no longer have access to them or it in a living way we are blessed by way of honouring the memory of them or it.

Why would we not do this when there is much spiritual healing implicit in such foci, personally and interpersonally? Such a practice ensures we remain safely at-access for those still living—those loved ones who depend, provident at their emotions, on us.

It is not disobeying God to do this—to ‘defy’ the fact of death—as much of it honours God that we acknowledge the power of love to captivate us, so painfully, in the grip of grief.

Life Changed Forever – Embracing The New

Such a power overcomes the mightiest of us, and it swallows whole the way life was.

Allowing the memory of the loved one or thing to endure is surrendering peaceably to a power that transforms our lives—not by days, but through years.

Life cannot be the same, but it can be renewed, eventually, in hope; part of which is to know thyself better, as well as the one, or thing, lost.

This is surely the Lord’s gift of healing: the space of reflection and time for growth in a novel land of sensibility—one custom-designed for our unique situation.

We are not mad to keep them, or it, alive by memory, for we know they’ve passed.

We accept dual realities: that death, the unrelenting assailant, has come, and won’t be bargained with, but also, in that, that death can’t take our memories, those for which God endows.

Let us allow these memories to acceptably reign as we adjust, now and into the future, to this new thing.


Memories of lost ones are amongst our most precious. God blesses us to nurture these memories, by keeping them alive in our hearts and minds. Death cannot separate us from our loved ones whilst we have memories. Let us pray that we can bear them.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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