After my husband’s death I spent a great deal of time focused on remembering. At first the focus was confined to the day he died. My mind would check to see if all the details were included in my memories.

As relatives gathered, the memory loop expanded. The remembrance became denser as others shared their particular memories.

Then we each shared the stories he had shared with us. The richness of my husband’s life became increasingly expansive.

As the days and weeks passed, I noticed my obsessive need to remember details persisted. The details of his life became extremely important to me. When the present moment would intrude into my reverie, I would actively return to memory mode.

If I couldn’t remember all the details I would become distressed. The past seemed overwhelmingly more important than the present moment.

Reflecting back now, I realize I was afraid I would forget the details of our life together. The logical mind does not like change. Change involves letting go of control. What would happen if control was relinquished?

Letting go is expansive. Holding on is contracting. Letting go is energizing. Contracting is energy draining.

As I became more and more exhausted I finally had to let go of my grasp on the past. As I let go, two things happened. First, I noticed a surge of energy and vitality. Second, I noticed a more expansive experience of memory.

Memory flowed through my life. Memory became expansive. Allowing became more important than focused recall.

I realized that letting go of my mind’s need for control really led to richer memories of the heart.

Author's Bio: 

Sandy Clendenen lost her husband and best friend in 1999, after twenty-one years of marriage. Her grief process was lengthy and complex. Sandy felt stuck in layers of unresolved grief. As part of her heaing, Sandy filled numerous journals with her thoughts and feelings. A review of these journals several years later revealed insights into the grief process which Sandy is now committed to sharing with other grievers. Sandy attended seminary for 3 years. She also received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Sandy has also worked in various areas of hands on healing. Sandy incorporates her vast personal experience and education into her grief coaching products and services.

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