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I just can't turn sad memories into happy memories.

(101 Posts)
bikergran Sun 05-May-19 08:19:03

I don't know if anyone else has this problem but!

You know when loved ones have died and you look/visit back at holidays/places you visited/days out/eating out etc etc. People say it brings back happy memories.

But for me it just makes me more sad and unhappy,because that person you shared those places with are not here any more.

I look at photos but they make me so sad.

(We are talking almost 5 yrs on now from late dh)

Yesterday I went on a coach trip to Llandudno I did start another thread up about solo coach trips)

Anyway off I went , it was blue sky(bitter cold though)!

A victorian festival was going on right through the tows so it was very busy which was great.

I sat on the prom, but all I could think about was dh wasn't here.I can't seem to get round the "making happy memories bit no matter how hard I try) to me they are just sad memories.

It didn't help when I rung my mum and she said "oh your making your memories and when "we" pass over you will have your memories of when we all go there. .

Does anyone else find this difficult, I hear so many people say "oh I have such lovely memories of such and such"
But I feel like I'm living on a different planet.

kittylester Sun 05-May-19 08:31:45

biker, that is sad. I have no advice to offer as I have never been in your situation but wonder whether it is too late for Bereavement Counselling?

Sending you love and hugs until someone who is able to help properly comes along. thanks

bikergran Sun 05-May-19 08:42:07

thanks kitty just want to know if anyone else experiences it. It's not like we didn't have happy times, we did! lots of them. It's like my brain won't let me.

Off to work now at my well known supermarket.will pop back later.

Have a pleasant day all flowers

Luckygirl Sun 05-May-19 08:43:50

I think your reactions are entirely normal and to be expected. Why not keep those memories on your heart and go to new places and make new memories?

I too feel sad when looking at old photos, even though OH is still alive. I look at the pics of him young and healthy and cannot help compare this with the helpless invalid he has become.

We all have different reactions and ways of remembering - what is right for one is not for another.

But your post is a timely reminder that grief lasts and lasts - people learn to live with loss, but are changed by it. You should allow your feelings to be your feelings and nit be tempted to compare them to others.

I hope you find places and activities to lay down new memories. flowers

Luckygirl Sun 05-May-19 08:44:19


bikergran Sun 05-May-19 08:47:28

Luckygirl yes I suppose we all have those photos of when we were all health and happy (although sometimes we didn't think we were) but looking back yes we

Yes as I once read somewhere "There is no sell by date with grief"

take care

tanith Sun 05-May-19 08:48:07

I know just how you feel, I’m not planning on visiting any of the places DH and I visited anytime soon, for me it’s only months since he died and I did wonder if going there would just make me sadder than ever.
Instead I’ve made plans to make new memories with my children and grown up Grandchildren this year and hope that further down the line do as you’ve been doing and visit ‘our’ places. It may not work out like that .

Not really any advice I’m sorry but just to keep going as what’s the alternative?


bikergran Sun 05-May-19 08:49:53

tanith and Luckygirl I suppose that's what we must do make new ones. bfn

bikergran Sun 05-May-19 08:50:28

for you tanith it is so raw, sorry.

Iam64 Sun 05-May-19 08:57:21

biker - it's never too late to approach one of the bereavement counselling services, like cruise. It may help x

crazyH Sun 05-May-19 09:00:02

Sorry for all those going through these emotions. I lost my husband through divorce, so most of my memories are tainted with the eventual outcome.
You are lucky to have had loving. faithful husbands. Keep them in your minds and your hearts. flowers

bikergran Sun 05-May-19 09:01:17

thanks for that thought lam64

Beechnut Sun 05-May-19 09:01:18

I think get you biker. Going to those places does bring back happy memories but also a great sadness that DH is no longer here to carry on with making memories with you. I remember the first time I went to anywhere that we went there would be tears.
Yesterday I went out to look at the bluebells and drove on roads I haven’t been on in years and that brought back a lot of different memories for all sorts of reasons. It was a beautiful day and I did have positive feelings. ?

Eglantine21 Sun 05-May-19 09:02:39

I absolutely sympathise with this. I can’t do the happy memories either. I know I’m really extreme about it.

I don’t have any photos of past family events around me like most people seem to have. A picture of their wedding day, their children as babies. My sister has one of our parents silver wedding on prominent display. I hate looking at it. All those happy people who are now dead.

I don’t visit graves or go back to places to relive the past.

When I travel or go to the theatre or spend time with family or friends I am not making memories, I am living and enjoying now.

And when I am dying the absolute last thing I want is for someone to come armed with photos and wanting to talk over past happy times!

I think we are in the minority bikergran, but you’re not alone.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 05-May-19 09:04:30

I know exactly how you feel Biker - it's been over eight years since I lost my husband. You learn to cope but there's that constant little wedge of sadness that hangs about. At least you are getting around.
I don't think I could revisit any of the places we used to go without making myself feel very sad. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other each day - your late partner wouldn't want you to collapse in a heap, would he? flowers

bikergran Sun 05-May-19 09:06:52

thats good Beechnut glad it was a positive time for you.

I have been to Llandudno with DD and with my mum n dad last year and I was ok. We are off again in a few months(I know I am so lucky at my age 63 to still have my parents)

But then It just makes me think of when their not here any more, it's like a vicious circle.

Right well I must switch off GN confused or I shall be late for work. thanks all catch up later. flowers

Iam64 Sun 05-May-19 09:08:09

Eglantine - your comment about living Now rather than making memories hits home for me. I find the idea of 'making memories' makes me feel uncomfortable. Being aware that an event is a memory in the making seems to detract from being in that time. It's like the hoards of tourists you see photographing anything and everything - I always wonder what they're seeing, much less experiencing.

Many posters on this site have 'lost' children or grandchildren because of family conflict. I have experience of that and know how painful if it to lose someone who is alive but refuses anything to do with their entire family. I know I can be something of a Polyanna but looking on the bright side and counting blessings can help.

bikergran Sun 05-May-19 09:10:02

*Eglantine" I also don't have any photos out, I have one of myself and dh at dd wedding taken 7 yrs ago.

It comes out on birthdays,etc then gets put back behind the sofa! Then I think!! ohh what would I feel like if it was me that was gone and DH had no photos or put me back behind sofa!! oh heck!

aggie Sun 05-May-19 09:11:07

I think I feel sad when I look at photos of "happy" days because I can see how ill OH looks in some , even though we didn't think he was ill . My lot say I am imagining it and that he looks fine to them .
I sit where he sat and look out to see what view he had and wonder what he thought .So I hastily move to my "own" chair
Mostly I try not to let the Children know what I am thinking
The garden is new and gives me loads of cheer , my eldest DD walks round with me wondering at the new growth and I hope this doesn't turn into a sad memory for her

Vintagegal13 Sun 05-May-19 09:13:28

Hello, I am a newbie and have so far just lurked, but I had to reply to you. Believe me, you are not alone.

I have been bereaved for 14 months now, I still have so much sadness in that if it is a lovely sunny day, or I see different birds in the garden the sadness is because my husband is not here to share them with me. We always planned to go and see bluebells together - a simple thing - but we did not get round to doing it, and I can't look at them without remembering our plans.

New places/memories are not much fun alone - I just wish he were here to share them.

MawBroonsback Sun 05-May-19 09:26:34

flowers Vintagegall
My sincere condolences- it’s been 18 months almost to the day for me and I absolutely sympathise.
People can talk glibly about “happy memories” but of course if they were happy times, your loss is so much greater. You don’t miss what you’ve never loved!
I desperately miss that DH cannot enjoy the warm sunshine of a beautiful day, the pleasure of a day with the family or friends, the achievement of our AC such as DD’s wonderful production of As You Like It in Regents Park last summer, DGS’s (8) first try for his rugby team or the birth of his namesake grandson just 6 weeks ago.
I weep for what he is missing and I feel guilty that I am still blessed.
Our lives have changed and there is no changing back though, we need to take a deep breath and make the best of what we still have. I sometimes see it like a bit an amputation- you learn to walk with the crutches or prosthesis, but you are never entirely whole again.
But life is too precious to waste it like Queen Victoria forever miserable in black bombazine and eventually there will be moments when the pain will give you a break and you will feel strong enough to embrace living too.

Sprout Sun 05-May-19 10:04:40

My goodness reading all these articles is heart warming my DH paseed away 2yrs this month after 53yrs of a wonderful marriage. I feel like half of me has been taken away and can't be put back together. I have a wonderful daughter and son but lIke us all they have their own lives to lead. Life goes on but it's hard.

GrandmaMoira Sun 05-May-19 10:14:50

I find listening to music is the worst thing. All the old favourites tend to make me very down, even tearful.

Beckett Sun 05-May-19 10:26:29

I have been a widow for almost 10 years now and can fully understand how the OP and others feel. My DH and I planned to do so much once he retired but he never reached retirement age.

I have lots of photos of him around the house and if I see or hear something funny I can still hear his wonderful chuckle.

It would be very easy to sit around at home alone and go nowhere but instead I feel I take him with me where ever I go as he will always be in my heart. I now do things for the both of us.

Someone once said to me that the pain never goes away, you just learn to carry it better. flowers

annep1 Sun 05-May-19 10:33:11

Hello Bikergran. I haven't lost my husband but I have lost my best friend, mum, and siblings in last five years. And I can tell you that you are not alone. I am almost in tears at this minute. I miss them all so much. I remember happy times but it still makes me sad. Even listening to Harvest Moon happy in the garden yesterday brought back memories of circle dancing with my best friend. There's no getting away and for a long time I had to put photos away. But the times I think about them all has lessened a lot and enabled me to go on having happy times.
My mum marked a poem in her poetry book called Remember by Christina Rosetti to say she would rather us forget than remember and be sad. Its ok to forget for a while. flowers