I recently commented on someones blog that writing helps us to grieve for our departed loved ones. In that post I mentioned a Memorial Log and I promised that I would explain a bit more about the log and what it did for me.
My Grandmother passed away suddenly on 21st April 1995 and had recently spent six weeks with us, starting just before the Christmas period of 1994. During that time my husband spent some time videoing and recording conversations with my Grandmother, now, 15 years on I still can not watch those video's, but I am deeply grateful that Stuart had the foresight to record those conversations. We still hold the original camcorder tapes and the VCR tape that the data was transferred to. Sometime this year Stuart will transfer the VCR tapes to DVD, a task he will do when I am out.
My Grandmother, and I were very close. I was overcome, not just with grief and the need to give her the send off she deserved, but I suddenly became aware of all the things and questions I had never asked and all the snippets of information that she had shared with me. Not just genealogical information, but the sayings she would suddenly come out with, things she would do, places and people that she held an association with.
The bottom line was that I missed her dreadfully, her passing had left a huge void in my world and even though the period of time between the death and funeral is fairly busy with the domestics of it all, I felt that I needed to keep my Grandmother with me. I did not want to forget a simple thing. Looking back now, many of the comments and notes I made were one liners, a simple remark that acts as a prompt for more thinking and adding to a journal at a future date, and occasionally I still add to the log. The 18th December 2012 would have been my Grandmother's 100th birthday. I shall commemorate that in some way, perhaps linked to the Memorial Log.
The Memorial log was for me a simple Filofax that I had and was not using. I used whatever paper I had to hand and my log contains a mix of lined and plain paper. Each entry dated. In the early days I would write and jot down notes for hours, later as time progressed I wrote less, and as I adapted to a world without my Grandmother the entries became fewer in number and less in content. That said, it does not mean that I miss her less. When someone we love passes away we find a way of coping and adapting without them, but they always retain a place in our heart.