Oct 13, 2007

Memory Book

Over the last few weeks I have been writing a 'memory book' story book for my girls about their Nana. I can't remember where I first read of this idea, but it seemed a good one.
The idea is that for kids to process grief they like to hear stories about their loss over and over again - kinda to help them fix it in their heads and explain it to themselves. And because it can all get a bit emotionally exhausting to tell those stories from memory each time it is simpler to write it down. This also means that other people can tell the stories when I am not in the right headspace to talk about my Mum.

Now, Mum is still with us (which is a daily blessing). However, time is precious and sooner or later I would be needing to write a memory book. So I decided to do it now - while I'm not dealing with my own grief too much.

What I've done is write a wee story - "This is me and my sister with our Nana..." and illustrate it with photos of my Mum with the girls. I just stuck the photos on A4 paper, wrote it in pen and placed the pages in plastic sheet-protectors. I also went around and took more photos as needed ("This is their house"). What was excellent was that it pointed out some major gaps in our photo collection - I found that we didn't have any at all of Mum and Dad and both girls in the same photo, that sort of thing. So we were able to get some of those.

For now, it's a story about Nana and the girls and what they do together and how Nana does knitting etc etc. It will only take the addition of a few more pages to turn it into a memory book - which I should be able to manage when necessary. I also plan to do the same for the other grandparents.

I like to think that my kids will remember my Mum after she's gone.

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