let the healing begin

markluvskathyMarch 12, 2005

I lost my brother 3 years ago just one month shy of his 19th birthday. He lived with me at the time of the accident, and I took it very hard. If only I had been home, if only I hadn't asked him to move in with me, if only......he would still be alive today. My heart just ached terribly. My pastor helped me to look at it from the other perspective. If I hadn't asked my brother to move in with me, than I never would have gotten to know the man he was becoming. God gave both of us the opportunity to make that happen. If I had been home it still would have happened, and I would have seen it. God spared me the sight of seeing my brother on fire. Once I learned how to change my "thoughts" and turn them into positives, the healing began.

My dear friend recommended making a scrapbook CELEBRATING his life and telling the stories each photo brings. I did this for 2 reasons. #1, I wanted my daughter (I was 5 months pregnant when he died) to know who her uncle was and what he stood for, and #2 I wanted something that was personal for me. No one can take my memories from me!

I have made scrapbooks for friends who have lost a loved one, and have seen the tears they bring, but I have also seen the start of healing when they start to journal their stories of the photographs.

I am not saying it was easy. I cried many a times during the making of that album. I laughed at some of the photos and the stories, and than I cried because I missed him. But I didn't let that stop me from completing my album.

3 years later, I pull out that album and recapture those moments with him. I also later added journaling about my favorite things we did together, funniest moments, stories about when we were growing up.

I am sure I am rambling, but I just wanted to let you know the methods I used to begin the healing process.

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Thanks for posting this message...Making a scrapbook is a really good idea. Sometimes I write in a journal..Mostly on really bad days when I just want to talk to my son..I write letters to him to tell him how proud I am of him & what he will always mean to me..I think I might try to make a scrapbook of the wonderful 4 years we had with him. It is hard to look at his pictures because I miss him so much but sometimes I need it just to remember everything special we have done together..& smile at how happy he has made me & the person I became because of him. My entire life changed when I found out I would be having a baby..Thanks for the great idea. This will be a way for me to share his life with everyone! Thank you

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 10:29PM
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My scrapbooks are very theraputic for me. If you would like some support in starting one, or need some ideas, or would just like to chat, I am only an email away!

I can only imagine the grief that a parent goes through. I know it is deeper than brother/sister. I lost my pregnancy last August (I had a tubal and it ruptured) after trying to conceive a second child for 2 years. I very well could have lost my own life. I knew what had happened when it did, but did not want to admit it, so I waited 8 hours before calling the ambulance. I was in so much physical pain that I was afraid of the ambulance ride (30 minutes to the hospital) I had lost alot of blood, and needed transfusions. I thought I was over the grieving of this loss but when my due date of March 2 rolled around, it resurfaced. I wonder if my DH planned our vacation when he did, to try and keep my mind off of it. Hmmm, now that is a thought to ponder. If he did, just one more reason why I love him!


    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 1:50AM
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Thanks Kathy

The loss of someone close is hard for anyone, no matter who it is..I would be devastated if I lost one of my brothers. I'm very sorry to hear about you losing your baby, I could imagine how painful that would be after trying so hard to concieve. I'm glad to hear you have a wonderful supportive husband there with you...It makes a world of difference when you have someone who's always there for you. My husband & I can be at each others throats maybe a little too often these days but in the end when I'm having a really bad day he's always there to comfort me. ANyway, thanks for your offer on help with a scrapbook..I will definitely email you when I do for some ideas..I'm the least creative person I know ha ha

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:58AM
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Thanks for your posts. I lost my husband on Feb 8th and it is so hard to remember the good times without being overwhelmed with sadness. His funeral was a celebration of his life and I don't want to be sad but I miss him so much - we were raising an 8 year old grandaughter together and now I am doing it alone. I was trying to keep my feelings all in to protect her but this week she got sick at school and when we talked I realized her tummy ache was a missing her best friend ache. We talked and cried. Do you think if we worked on this together it would help her too?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 5:27PM
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I actually recommend making 2 albums, one for you, and one for her. let her pick out the pictures she wants in her album and make copies of those pictures for her. Let her work beside you when you do yours. Let her write out as much as she can in her own handwriting (write it out for her in her own words to help with spelling if needed, and let her copy it on journaling mats- email me your addy and I will send you some of different colors)
Buy her a 7x7 sentiments albums. Perfect size for her. Ask her why she picked the photos she did, and have her tell you what she remembers of that day/event. She will treasure it forever. Plus, it is a wonderful bonding experience, and it will help her and you talk about it, which can be so hard to do. It is ok to be sad and to cry, that is part of healing. It took a long time before I could look at my album without crying at all.
I did this with my little sisters after I made mine. They were 11 when our brother died. To this day (they are 14 now), they still pull out their albums whenever they miss him. It has such a healing effect. Alot of tears were shed when we made them, but now looking back, that time together was priceless. I was able to help them "capture" those memories and most importantly the stories that went with them.
I hope this helps. Feel free to email me anytime :) for help with your album. I know I will forever be thankful to the person that suggested it and helped me with mine, and I will continue to help others do the same.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 1:42AM
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Nice idea. Thanks for posting. Photographs are such a wonderful way to keep someone's memory alive. I am so thankful for all of ours so that they help my grandchildren know who their Aunt Christin is.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 12:03AM
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Thanks for posting this wonderful idea for not only memorializing a loved one but documenting a persons's life. I now know that I will make a scrapbook of my mother's life. Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 4:47PM
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I am so sorry about the loss of your husband and partner. I think the idea to work on the scrapbook with your granddaughter is wonderful, and it was so thoughtful of MLK to post it. Has the school your granddaughter attends reached out to support you? If the school has a social worker or "family specialist," that person should be able to help with other coping suggestions, and also to let you know about upcoming programs or groups for grieving children. Kids are often surprised (and at the same time comforted) to find out they aren't alone. Sounds like your granddaughter has a wonderful grandma.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:00PM
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