I have chosen “Remembrance” as the theme for the month of May, at Pennick Family Therapy, for several reasons. First, my father passed away three years ago this month, it is a difficult time for our family. I miss him tremendously. I have so many wonderful memories of spending time with him. Each year the pain seems to ease a little for me, but I see my mother having a more difficult time. Her pain seems to get stronger, as she spends more days alone. They had been together for 60 years and were together 24/7 for the last ten or fifteen years. Therefore, it is especially hard for her when the anniversary of his death comes.
Secondly, I chose “Remembrance” because, we celebrate Memorial Day in May with remembering those we have lost, we visit cemeteries, placing flowers, and honoring the veterans with flags on their graves. There are many of my family members who serve in WWII and even WWI. It is such a beautiful sight seeing all the flags blowing in the wind each Memorial Day. We have many relatives buried in the area who are in numerous cemeteries. I have found Memorial Day to be a very peaceful and lovely time for my husband and me. We make the visits with reverence but we enjoy reminiscing about each family member as we go. We visit both of his parents’ graves, many of our Aunts and Uncles, his Grandparents graves, and several of my relatives that are buried nearby that we visit. We share wonderful memories as we go throughout the day. From time to time, I will get tearful, thinking about of those special people we have lost, but usually we find some funny story or characteristic about the loved one and we laugh.
Third, of course, Mother’s Day is a special day that we celebrate in May. For many who have lost their mother this can be a very hard day, as they remember their mother. Often we forget about those mothers who have lost children, and how difficult Mother’s Day is for them. Another unfortunate fact is that there are some that have no good memories of their mothers, because they were abused or neglected by their mother. Others may have never known their mother or have been abandoned by their birth mother. So Mother’s Day brings sadness and pain to them. As a mother, I enjoy the special attention and love spending time with my kids and grandkids.
Remembrance plays a big part in therapy treatment every day. At the intake sessions work through a genogram or family history with new clients. This helps me to assess any issues that may be affecting their current difficulties. We do this “remembrance” and it can be painful many times as we start working through their childhood, past relationships, traumas or losses. Frequently a client will be surprised by their own reaction to this process and gain insight into their problems just simply by our “remembrance”. It is an amazing process to witness. I work to help them honor their past and to learn from it. I always tell them that sometimes as you are going through the process of sorting through the memories, things may get worse before they get better. The one thing that I know is that it will get better…but it does take time and work. If you are willing to spend the time, walk through the pain, do the work and commit to improving your life, I will be there to walk beside you, all the way. Remembrance is a very special part of May and of life!