A couple of days ago, I was having a dream just before I awoke. In this dream, I viewed my mind as a white slate. Memories were slowly disappearing from it which alarmed me somewhat. As I age, there is always the reality that I may forget things. God knows I will often walk into a room, come to a dead stop, and stand there as the ticker-tape crosses my mind as I wait to remember the reason I had just walked into this room. I’ve learned not to panic at such moments…but simply patiently wait. Most times, the reason finally comes to me. If not, I have taken on the perspective that if it was important, it will come to me at some point; if not, it wasn’t important.
Back to the dream…
So as I saw ‘memories’ disappearing and feeling somewhat alarmed at it all, I began to awaken. As I did, I immediately grabbed my pen and paper that I keep lying next to me on my bed. Into my mind, popped the above statement: “I chose to forget – the pain – it became too great”. Later that same morning, I felt to make a meme from it. I pictured in my mind a woman in the fog…similar to what we know as ‘Grief Fog’. I began to search the web in the hunt of a photo and I finally discovered the one above. I always know when I have found what I have been searching for because of the way it makes me feel when I see it.
I don’t know what all of this means quite yet for me personally. However, I’d like to expound on the thought briefly after a comment I received on this meme from another grieving Momma. Because I have written in the past on ‘Grief Fog’, I won’t touch on that topic at this time. Rather, at the moment, I am more focused on this statement I was given..and I do believe such things are ‘given’ by God through that ‘still small voice’ He often uses to communicate to us.
The statement, for me, is a true statement. Along this journey of 18+ years, I have selectively chosen over time the memories upon which I choose to dwell on. We all have the horrid nightmarish memories of our child’s demise. They rip us apart in our deepest parts of our being and we literally can’t breathe, at times, when they do. ‘They take our breath away’ is an understatement. They are like little pieces of jagged edged glass that slice us and wound us in places we never consciously acknowledged in the past. It is these memories, though forgotten yet not forgotten, which I have chosen over time to forget as far as it be humanly possible to do so. At the onset of this journey, they are all in the forefront; they taunt us in our sleep and relentlessly grip hold of us in our awakened hours. They overwhelm our thoughts and rip our heart to shreds.
Over time, however, we learn to selectively remember the good, the love, the smiles, the laughter, the touch, the smell. We have to make these selective memory choices in order to survive. We have to learn to train our thoughts to ‘not go there’. We always know that we can revisit ‘the bad’ if we so choose to do so, but we move them to the ‘back of the room’, as far back as we possibly can. Like moving furniture around a room, we move our memories in our mind so that the good ones are more pronounced. We choose to speak about the beauty of our child instead of the horrific manner in which they departed. We choose not to dwell on anything unresolved or an argument we may have had with them and instead we focus on the hugs and kisses. Selective memory can be a beautiful gift when utilized in such a fashion in our grief. This is not ‘positive thinking’ nonsense, it is simply choosing to forget the pain because the pain is too great.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))