“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

Green Beans and Grief

missing mom breast cancer ribbon

Today I had green beans — and that’s all it took.

I immediately thought of Mom.  They tasted a lot like hers did.

Triggers.     Grief seems to be full of them.  They can come out of nowhere and ambush you.  Sometimes it’s the most unsuspecting things– like green beans.

Mom was a good cook.  I loved her green beans.  She would always make a huge pot full.  Southern style with potatoes and bacon in them.  I could eat them all.  She’d let them simmer all afternoon and I’d get a big bowl full before they were finished.  Green beans just haven’t been the same since she’s been gone.  I surely do miss her.

It’s the little things you remember most, sometimes.  Those day-to-day things that you take for granted, yet when they’re gone you notice how significant they really were.  The memories of them can make you sad and you can go further and deeper into your grief, or you can celebrate them.  Celebrate the fact that you do have those memories and that you had those experiences.  It’s not a form of denial and pretending that you aren’t sad about your loss.  It’s just choosing gratitude.  Being thankful that you even have something to miss.

Today I chose to smile and be grateful.   I chose to think about all the pots of green beans Mom made over the years — not the green beans she will never make again.

  • How do you handle triggers?
  • What do you do when you’re ambushed by grief?

1,000 Memories

Mother’s Day is coming up.  I’m making a 1,000 Memories book about my mom.  I thought it would be a great gift to pass down to my own children when it’s finished.  The idea is simple:  I’m just writing down 1,000 things I remember about Mom.  By the time I get to 1,000, I will probably have most of the important things I want to remember written down.  I’m keeping it simple.  I don’t have to get all fancy and give every detail and write a long story.  I can just write one-liners if I want to.

What about you?  How could you remember someone you have lost? 

How could you honor his or her legacy and find joy in the memories, not just sadness in the loss?

  • Which stories and memories bring the greatest joy and put a smile on your face?
  • What would you like to remember about him/her?
  • What would you like others to know or remember about him/her?
  • What would the person you lost want you to remember about him/her?
  • How would you describe this person to someone else?
  • Do you have a favorite memory?  A funniest memory?
  • Is there a life lesson you learned from this person?
  • How did your relationship with this person impact your life?
  • What impact did he/she have on the life of others?
  • What were some of his/her qualities or strengths that you would like to remember?   (Which ones would you like to have yourself?)

Today I’m adding “green beans” to my list of 1,000 memories.

What will you add to your list of memories?

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