When Memory Fails

In the beginning, the trauma took over. It was all consuming, hanging over me like a shadow. Any time I would think of him, the images of that day would flash through my mind like a horror movie. I couldn’t see anything but our devastation. Now, there are some days I don’t cry at all. On those days I push the longing and the ache for my child to the back of my mind and any time I feel it surface I just repeat “Don’t think about it, stop. Don’t think about it, it’ll hurt” until I feel calm again.

Other days, it is all I can think about. The days I try desperately to remember what it felt like to hold him, to make him smile, to rock him to sleep or pull my hair from his hands. To touch his hair, tickle his toes, study his finger nails, smell his skin, feel the velvet of his eyebrows and the whisper of his lashes on my cheek. The days I realize I don’t remember what any of that felt like anymore.

There is a point in the journey through loss, when perspective changes. It is not a measurable point in time, it happens slowly, without you noticing. And then one day you’re waking up and realizing that the trauma isn’t the most painful part anymore. Memory has failed you. Somewhere along the way that changed, now the most painful part of the grief isn’t the awful things you remember, it’s the happy things you’ve forgotten.

9 thoughts on “When Memory Fails

  1. Wow, how very true this is.. but the good memories can and will slowly creep back, just as the bad do. One day you’ll be sitting on your couch and the wind will sweep a hair across your cheek and it will remind you of how gentle his hand felt there before… the good memories will all come back when you least expect it and when you need them most.

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  2. We lost my niece Scarlet the day she would have turned 5 months old. I will remember that day forever, now 4 years later the pain still lingers. I now have a daughter and my brother and sister in law have another baby. Those first 5 months of both of their lives was so scary, the emotion that took over our lives was unmeasurable due to the loss. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my niece and what she would look like or even be doing at almost 5 years old. Thank you for sharing your story, my heart goes out to you and your family. I can’t help but think my niece Scarlet had open arms for your dear Sloan when he arrived.❤️

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  3. Gosh 😢. I wish I had the words to make it all better. Maybe these memory lapses are your mind, heart, and spirit trying to protect you, like it’s your built-in shock absorbers hard at work. Maybe it’s a survival mechanism. Without these, you’d continue to dwell on those precious moments and feelings you miss so much (and rightfully so), otherwise the pain would just stay too raw and unbearable. You’re doing an amazing job helping others who have suffered loss, and honoring Sloan’s memory as you do so. I hope and pray you have let the guilt go, as none of this was your fault, and going into survival mode is not only a natural reaction to such trauma, it keeps you going, functioning, and living for your loved ones here. I continue to pray for strength and comfort for you, Jordan. Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

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  4. So hard when memories escape us. But they are still with you. Waiting perhaps until another time to resurface and comfort you. Sweet Jordan, you are shining light in the darkness of loss. Blessings and peace!

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  5. Your story is devestating and I think of you and your family often. I’m not a religious person but when I see a dragonfly I think of your littlest boy. I appreciate your letting strangers follow your unique journey in parenthood. I hope today is a day filled with those sweet memories

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  6. Ahh, mommy.
    I can not imagine how you feel since the loss of your sweet boy.
    I agree with the others here, in saying it must be your body’s way of protecting you from further pain, holding the memories off, until it’s a better time.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us, the rest of the world, and I hope it has helped even a little bit, by sharing and releasing it perhaps.
    You are an inspiration for how you’ve gotten through it.
    Maybe try and set aside some “Sloan time” every day, a slot of time to do your thinking, dwelling, missing, hurting. Then try to do all the other things you need to do in a day.
    Just a suggestion.
    I hope and pray that you and your family have much better and wonderful days ahead.
    And don’t worry that you are leaving Sloan behind,
    His memory and spirit will be with you always no matter what happens, or comes your way.
    He’s watching over you and maybe even whispering in your ear, “Mommy don’t be sad, I’m right here beside you!!”
    Sending hugs and best wishes from near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. XO.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t know you but your story has touched me. 💜. I am just so incredibly sorry for your loss. I hope all the sweet memories you have of him bring you comfort.

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  8. I have been sitting at work for the past 30 minutes, reading your blog, fighting with all my might to hold back the tears. I cannot fathom what you and your family has gone through since losing Sloan, but your words and memories of him are so beautifully written here, that I can only assume that you are helping so many others who have had to deal with something as unimaginable as this. I am continuing to send prayers and love to you, your husband and Rowan. God bless you, and may you keep getting a little stronger everyday.

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