Reminders of our loved ones can be everywhere - in a song on the radio, a familiar scent, a special spot or a favorite food. What are the things that remind you of your loved one? Do you avoid them or seek them out?

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My Mom passed away on 2-4-09, at age 89, after an eight year battle with Alzheimer's. Her funeral was a week ago today. My sweet Mom was an excellent cook - one of those great ol' southern cooks from Louisiana and I'm finding that going to the grocery store is what reminds me of her the most. And, because she passed away so recently, when I see reminders of her as I shop, I grieve all the more for her.

During my last shopping trip the other day, my eyes fell on a display of roasting pans, and I remembered how she made this delicious smothered chicken and rice dish in her favorite roasting pan. Another display was mixing bowls, and I remembered how she loved her mixing bowls. No matter how many mixing bowls she had, she always loved it when she would be given more. As I walked down the cereal aisle, my eyes fell on raisin bran. She loved raisin bran. As I drove home, I saw a Peet's Coffee store. She loved Peet's Coffee. Around another corner, I saw beautiful flowers in a center divider and remembered how much my Mom loved gardening. Friends and loved ones would bring her their plants and flowers that they had murdered, and my Mom would lovingingly bring them back to life.

Alzheimer's really is the long goodbye. Especially during the last three months of her life, my mom really suffered, and I had been praying for God to take her home. I'm thankful and relieved that she's not suffering anymore, but, oh God, how very much I miss her. She was always, always there for me and I am so thankful and honored to have had her as my mother.

I hate Alzheimer's. I didn't realize it as possible to hate a disease so much. I almost think of Alzheimer's as if it were a person - I hate it that much.

Grieving is really, really difficult. I hadn't been sick at all for almost a year. After not sleeping well for almost a week after my mom passed away, I've promptly come down with a killer case of the flu. It's like the grieving just takes everything out of you. The fact that I'm facing it is important though...and one day I will be able to think of my beloved mom - what we meant to each other, and everything we shared over the years, and not feel sad. None of us will live forever, and I had her for much longer than many people have their mothers, but, God, I sure do miss her!
I am almost in the sixth month of losing both my parents, they passed away 49 days apart. I have been through so many different emotions and feelings that I never know what to expect from one day to the next. I think what hurts more than anything now is the greed and selfishness of my siblings. They were so quick to go in and take everything from my parents home. I just could not bring myself to do it. My youngest sister brought me things that she knew I would want that I had given to my parents and I appreciated that but I felt like they were trying to clear away every reminder of them and it hurt me so much . I am buying their home and now a couple of them are mad at me for that but I want so much to preserve their home and keep life in it. It is where I grew up and there are so many memories that I want to keep them alive. I waited and no one in the family tried to buy the property and now it's like I have done something bad. I know that my mama and papa would want one of us to have it and take care of it. They spent their whole life together there and I just can't bear to think of strange people living there when it is our heritage. I guess in time everything will be ok but it hurts. I love my sisters and I know that we need each other now more than we ever have and it seems like we're further apart than we ever have been. I would give all the property or material things in the world to have my mama and papa back and it hurts so bad that everyone just seems like all that is important is the material stuff. There is so much to overcome so that we can be a family again and I know it will never be the same. I just ask for your prayers that God will help us overcome the pain and the void that is left in our hearts.
hi my name is shirley wilson my son got kill on oct of 2008 was gun down by the police my heart is so broken i miss my son so much i can't sleep at night ,i cry all the time it hurt so bad on my mind all the time
Reminders are the hardest for me but I have to see them and think about my son because they are everywhere and my son was a big part of my me. He always needed me always. He was killed by a truck walking on 12-12-2008 and I have to drive by the spot where he was killed and it is hard I think about him all the time laying on the road and thinking where was I how could I let this happen. In everything I do is a reminder even when I cook supper I think of him all time because he always wanted to eat anything I cooked, his favorite was Barbaque Chicken and chop suey. Oh my son I miss wyou so much what will I do. I listen to music because that helps me but man some of the songs just make me think and the words in them are like poems I remember words in song and write a poem. I miss my son so much it has been 14 weeks now and I still cant believe I going on without him it is hard I hate my life and if I could take your place son I would, it should have been me not you my son when you are raising your children and taken care of them never in my life did I think one of my children would die before me never did I think this would happen to me because I would pray and my faith. I always thought I would be going to his wedding and not his funeral. Why, Why, the heartache hurts so much. I have so many reminders and I love them all so much I cant not get through my life with out them.
my cousion ryan died at the age of 6 of cancer and he was a bundle of joy to be around and i love and miss him so much and i just cant stop wishin it was me and not him he died 3-28-09 and i just miss him and want him back
Hi my name is lorie, my sister and I were best friends, we married brother had the same friends she was 7 years older then me but we did lots of stuff together. Her knee has been hurting so the hospital couldn't find out what it was so they sent her to a bone Dr. On sept 28,2007 he told her she had rapid bone cancer and they gave her 1 week to 8 months to live. I feel so empty inside I know I have my huband and children. It has been so hard for me I got her the plaque if all the tears could make a stairway I would go up and bring her back down I know she is in less pain up there, I just miss her she passes way in Dec 28, 2007. One day I heard her call my name she kept saying lorie when I got under dreams it said when someone calls your name they are letting you know they are ok. Thank you for reading my story. lorie
Guy, I just read your note and looked at Billy's site. I lost my husband to a brain anerism 5/22/08(54) with no warning. I can't even consider the loss of my son(he is having open heart surgery 5/13/09 due to a birth defect just now found at age 39?) I don't know how it feels to lose a child but I can identify with the sudden loss and all the emotions and the thoughts of it being unreal. I miss him so much and like you I never even considered a death like this one. It just seemed so unreal that you could have them here and then they are gone physically. I too feel so honored to have had this time with him and knowing how truly blessed I am. This helps.
I really enjoyed the pictures and I take pictures all the time. There was a fog on several of the pictures I took right after Tom passed and the thought crossed my mind but now I am going to look for signs. I had some things happen in the beginning, like a message on his cell phone with envelope information at approx 3 minutes after he passed It was him playing his harmonica " precious memories" and electrical things in the Jeep but I would so love to talk with him.
Thanks for sharing your heart and your pictures. This is great encouragement for those of us that are grieving the loss of our love. Suep
Hello Sue: Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the loss of your husband and I pray that your son will have a great recovery from open heart surgery, I'll keep your son in my prayers. I'm happy that you are aware that when our loved ones do cross over, that they can and do give signs that they are still close to us. Keep taking those pictures.

God Bless you and your family
Linda crawley said:
Yes. The reminders are all around. In music, a smell, a stuffed animal that I once thought I should throw out and now glad I didnt. I pass by certain places my son and I went, or think of certain foods he liked and hated. Sometimes I am sad but for the most part, it feels better having more around me. I have no desire to ignore any thought or feeling. I try to think of a good time when I am sad. I have more sad days then not. He has only been gone 6 weeks, and it is fresh in my mind. the months that went by, the weeks he got sicker, the days, waiting to see if this was the day. then down to the last few minutes. The pain was horrible! But when i saw his face light up, eyes open wide and he smiled a big smile, and then went peacefully once i said his sister was here, well i knew he saw someone and chose to go with to heaven. had I not seen it, I would not have believed it. I am grateful for every memory. it is what I have left. This writing to all helps a great deal. I dont ever want to feel like I cant talk about him, nor do i want anyone to ever think they cant talk about him to me. he was my baby, and I heard his first breath and his last. he knows i love him, and I know he loves me. the more memory, the better.
i just lost my wonderful son last nov 18th he was my first born
his name was john and what a wonderful son he was, he was only 42 and had passed within hours of having a seizure, everyone love john he would stand on his head for anyone that needed help, i cry and cry every night saying what did he have to go before me i am so heartbroken it hurts my heart, and my husband feels the same way all we do is talk about him every night and how good he was to us, i keep hoping we will get a sign that he ok up in heaven with his grandparents and other family members how do we cope with such a loss when parents only think that why dont we go before our son
god only knows this and someday we will find out the mystery

marge farrell
Thank you Guy. I appreciate the prayers. I have 4 beautiful grandchildren from this son and he is a wonderful father. I am blessed. The more I hear about this procedure the more confident I feel. I know he is in God's hands either way but selfishly I can't bear the idea of not having him to talk with. He is one of my best friends.
I am so sorry about your son. I know it must hurt in so many different ways. I lost a sis at 38 and each time I look into the face of one of her grandchildren or see something funny out of them, I think of her. I know how proud she would have been. That is a blessing. I am so happy that you have another son. It doesn't make this any easier but it is still a gift to cherish. It is so hard to deal with the passing of someone that is so much a part of you and has your full heart as you know. Thanks for sharing. Suep
Rainey said:
Rainey said:
I wished I would have joined Legacy in 2007 when my mom, father in law and grandmother in law (2008) passed away. I have joined another online support group, but I like the more helpful links here. Always on my mind seems to be me lately, thinking of my loved ones who have passed. The "first" anniversary year is not always the magic moment people think it is. I go through phases where remembering my mom (and others) and missing her just really leaves me feeling sad and missing them. But I need to keep looking forward and remembering them all for the good times we had.

I wrote a poem about my mom and dad. I have a picture of them holding hands and it just reminded me they are Holding Hands in Heaven.

Holding Hands in Heaven

Mom and dad were married in the year of 1956,
They bought an old farmhouse, in which there was much to fix.

There were five kids that were added to the family tree,
Our family house was not always in perfect harmony.

But as a family of seven we did the best we could,
We have many good memories of our farm life and our childhood.

Dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack in 1972,
Our family was in shock, we could not believe it true.

Our family held together through marriage, divorce, and death,
There was many times life really made us hold our breath.

Mom married her sister’s brother in law from Texas in 1981,
For them and our families, a new family life was about to begun.

Mom finally found the strength to give up that cigarette,
But not before those lung diseases posed her such a threat.

Then mom got sick and ended up going between the hospital and nursing home,
She wanted to leave those places and go home, and have the freedom to roam.

The doctor told us she’ll be lucky if she will make it through the night,
We wanted mom to live and not give up without a fight.

The nurse told her “your kids aren’t ready to let you go.
So be a nice girl and do as you are told.

Just try and put on the oxygen mask a little while longer,
Your kids want to come and visit and see that you are stronger.”

Mom said she didn’t want to fight and live any more,
It was hard so hard to hear those words, I wanted to walk out that door.

Mom passed away in December of the year 2007,
Now she is holding dad’s and God’s hand,

Holding Hands in Heaven.

Written by Rainey Swenson
Dedicated to Dot and John (mom and dad)


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