Sometimes our memories of a loved one and the good times you’ve had together are overlaid by years of decline and sad times. The hardships at the end may make it easier to let go as you might feel that now the person won’t suffer any longer.
After accepting the loss, it’s good to go back and tap into the memories of better times together. Often the funeral or celebration of life brings together friends and family to tell those stories. You might feel a little guilty laughing with a cousin as you chat after the solemnity of the funeral, but it’s important to have those moments of sharing. Your loved one would want you to remember them with fondness and laughter rather than with depression and regrets.
Owen got a kick out of playing with his nieces and nephews at the family gatherings. There are plenty of photos to bring back those fun times. I hope the last 10 years or so have not pushed these earlier high jinks from their memories.
My brother loved entertaining people with his stories. Our Irish ancestry probably contributed to that. Dad also had the ability to turn any incident into a compelling yarn. Sadly, after Owen’s stroke, he sometimes had to search for his words which hampered the flow of his stories. His short-term memory was affected too. It was just one more way that his health issues affected his enjoyment of life.
I can’t be there to talk with the nieces, the nephew, the cousins, or the siblings about these more carefree times. We would have talked about what made Owen a special person in our family, so I’ve shared them here. Often, there’s a slide show, so here it is.
A Slide Show – Owen Lee Martin