Last week, Google Photos made a video on Greg’s phone titled Seattle and Oak Harbor. Every time I looked at his phone, I saw the notification that memories were waiting to be looked at. I knew it was a video of memories of our family trip to Seattle last summer. It was the last trip we went on as just our family. We had a beautiful time, and I’m so grateful we took this trip and have these wonderful memories.

It took me several days to watch the video. Truth be told, I usually avoid looking at pictures because it often creates more emotion than I can handle. Maybe someday I will want to look through photos, but for now, I am cautious about it. It is nice to remember beautiful memories, but also painful because it reminds me that we cannot create new ones. 

When I finally got the courage to watch the video, I of course cried through it, but I was glad I watched. I texted it to myself. I then had the strange experience of seeing that Greg had texted me, which threw me off several times throughout the next couple days. 

This week at the Center for Grieving Children, the kids talked about memories. The children and adults all gathered together for a candle lighting ceremony. It was very touching to listen to so many children speak of memories they had of their mother and/or father who had passed away. We all spoke of memories of our loved one while a song called, “I’ll Light a Candle for You” played in the background. Some of the children were too young when their parent passed to have real memories, but it was beautiful to hear them speak of memories they had been told of. It made me realize how important it is to continue talking about our memories. My younger kids will likely not have very clear memories of Greg because they are so young, but we can keep them clearer by talking about them. 

My little boys will forever remember one of the last outings Greg took them on. He took all the kids to the dollar store and let them spend a few dollars each. The kids all came home with their very own 3-liter bottle of soda and candy galore. I was less than thrilled! Where do you even put 18 liters of soda?! Especially when each one ‘belongs’ to one child, and they are all opened up. Even though I was very frustrated that Greg let the kids do this, it will forever be one of the kids’ last happy memories with him. What a fun memory to have. 

I have so many memories from the 19 years I spent with Greg. We went through a lot together, grew up together, and were each other’s best friends. It’s interesting how beautiful yet painful a memory can be when you can’t create new ones anymore. 

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