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Grief & Loss: From Mourning to Happy Memories

October 12, 2017


Memorializing and Respecting Lost Lives

Sarah McCarren, RN, MSN, CPNP

A few days after the horrendous event in Las Vegas, I watched a picture scroll of the 58 beautiful people who lost their lives. I thought if I could possibly memorize the faces of those victims, I could memorialize them properly. I was overwhelmed by the number of people grieving and traumatized by this evil act. I had no words, just pure sadness.

Shortly thereafter, I was scrolling through my Facebook, trying to avoid the barrage of sadness, when I came across the following post from my friend:

"Today would have been my Father's 94th birthday and November would have been my Mother's 81st (I think). I've been seeing a lot of my friends suffering lately from the recent loss of a parent or a loved one. I promise, things will get better with time. The sorrow turns into memories. Great memories. At some point, you will enjoy talking about your parent or loved ones again. Mourn, grieve, do whatever you have to do to get by. But things will get better! Life goes on. Dealing with and overcoming the loss of your parent or loved one will make you so incredibly strong. Drew, Sharon and I are unfortunately apart of this club, but we never missed a beat. We are closer than we've ever been and are really happy. When you're ready you will be too. If anyone ever needs to talk, you know where to find us!" - Richard Hausman

Recognizing the Transition from Mourning to Fond Memories

Each of us has our own response to loss. The initial mourning of a loved one is often a breath-by-breath survival experience. This poignant post by Richie reached my heart and soul at a time that I needed some light. Why was this short post so meaningful to me? This is my analysis:

  1. Richie was experiencing the anniversary of the loss of his parents. Instead of diving deep into his grief, he reached out and expressed compassion toward others.
  2. He gives hope. Hope that mourning will turn into happy memories that pay tribute to your loved one.
  3. The recognition that the experience of sharing the burden of grief can make us stronger and more connected.
  4. We can experience happiness again.
  5. He acknowledged that each person has their own time frame for grief.
  6. Richie offered his gift of mindful listening and positive energy to his friends in need.
The responses to Richie's post were heartfelt and plentiful. Friends shared stories of their mourning morphing into strength and happy memories. To those of you who are experiencing the painful blows of loss, I wish you hope and blessings and a friend like Richie. Reach out when the time is right and happy memories will overcome the sadness.

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