Memory and Forgettery

I often joke about my memory, or lack thereof. I feel that I have always struggled with remembering even the most basic of things but I have to admit that it really became difficult to recall moments, events, ideas, facts, after Emma died.

It is as if my brain froze in the moment she left. A fuzziness, a thawing out of an icy brain has gradually made it easier to remember but it is still a struggle.

This morning I discovered a notebook in the study that I had forgotten about. It starts like this… “Dearest Emma…” What a shot to the heart. The date is March 2013 and I had intended to write Emma letters about our daily lives – mainly centering around her antics, the cute things she said and did. I only filled a few pages, but rereading them this morning was like living a part of my life I had forgotten about completely.

I do not remember writing a single word and I wish that I had had more time to write in the book; that I had remembered to write in it more often when Emma was still well.

The last page was written in August 2013, four months before Emma was diagnosed. This is what what it said…


When you sneeze we say “Bless you!” And the other day you asked me for a tissue because you “blessed” – you had sneezed.

That was it. And with that I was reminded of what a massive blessing that little human was and continues to be in our lives.

It’s hard to remember all the good times, not just because I struggle with my memory (or my forgettery) but because it hurts to remember. And one can’t remember the good without the bad or the story would be incomplete.

Each day as I’m confronted with the memories of her living, of her suffering, of her dying, of us continuing to live without her, I block some of them out. And then instantly regret it. I never want to forget what it sounded like when she laughed. I never want to forget the shock of her diagnosis, or the pain of holding her lifeless body. I never want to forget how it feels to not have her here everyday. Each one of those memories make me who I am – I would be incomplete without them.

I want to challenge you to make memories that are worth remembering and not to try to erase the ones that hurt. Foster them all, treasure them, allow them to mold you into who you are meant to be.