by Judy Wright

People who have lost a loved one, either a human or animal, search for ways to remember and at least keep a memory alive. Sharing stories helps us remember those good days and the joy that loved one brought to us. We may no longer to enjoy their fun and love in this existence, but the memory can remind us of the emotions and experiences we had together.
We want to remember the deceased and maintain some part of their live lessons in our daily journey.  This need to remember becomes especially strong on birthdays, anniversaries or holidays.  It may be the season that triggers our memory. Or a smell. Or a treasured old toy in the attic.
Whatever the touchstone of remembering, it is therapeutic to tell a story to another person and have them acknowledge your sharing.
Make a Mind Movie for the Listener
One of the goals of a good story is that the listener can build a picture in their mind of what you are telling them. They can actually envision this series of pictures unfolding as the tale progresses. They will, of course, put their own experiences in place as they build this inner mind movie. So, your story of your Uncle Bob taking you fishing as a child, will star their Uncle or someone from their own life context.
That is okay that unless they knew your Uncle Bob, they may picture another middle aged man.  They may see you or perhaps themselves as the small boy. However, story is making a connection between the two of you. Your mind pictures may not be the same, but the emotions will be similar and important to both the story teller and listener.
Stories Heal the Hurt
Donald Davis, a North Carolina storyteller and teacher said, “Stories have the power to heal individuals following a significant loss because they enable us to keep alive, honor, and bless people who are no longer with us.  The story enables others to meet someone whom they will never actually meet in their lives.  The story helps us process and understand our relationship with the person whom we have lost.”

(c) Judy H. Wright . Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.
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