*This is a collaborative post.
I have sadly very recently lost my Nana, and I loved her dearly as I did my other Nanny who passed away some years ago. I have found myself pouring over childhood memories of playing board games with my Nana and the love and laughter I felt at that time. Nana loved to play board games with us and was always firm but fair, and would never let us win unless on our own merit. I’m grateful for that as it prepared me for the many ups and downs in life. It really did come into its own when I was auditioning in the west end in a dog eat dog industry where you win some, and you lose some. But whatever happened, it is always important to be and remain gracious and then try harder next time!
This is something I’m trying to instil in Alyssa. To be a kind winner and gracious loser, and she does her very best. Although her face doesn’t always say it, she does remember to say congratulations to whoever wins a game! I realise I’m not the first to lose someone so dear, nor will I be the last. But it has raised thoughts in my mind about how I remember them both. Both very different ladies but both equally as special as the other in their own and unique ways.
How do we remember a loved one? What can we do to ensure those memories are strong? I suppose having something that once belonged to them is one way, a precious item that holds the key that unlocked those special memories. It doesn’t have to be of great value, just something that means so very much. Sometimes I remember my other Nanny in a song. Edelweiss is one of those songs, and it’s from The Sound of Music. She adored that film and I remember wedging myself down in the armchair beside her and watching the film many times over. And when she became very ill, I flew back from Italy and sat with her as she lay in the hospital bed. And I would sing it to her as she would gently move her head from side to side to my singing.
All of us are individuals and have our own unique way of holding onto memories, and remembering someone. Whether it’s something visual, audible or even a smell of perhaps a flower or a taste of something or even a recipe they shared. Perhaps it is a place where you can go that makes you feel closer to them, like their headstone or plaque and in your mind speak to them. Or a place where you recall their laughter or memories in a way that’s just right for you.
It really doesn’t matter how it’s done or where, it’s just important to remember our loved ones we have lost. And to talk to others about them so that in future generations their memories live on. Memories are precious, but the most wonderful thing about them is that we keep them all stored safely in our hearts and minds, and we can whenever we want or need to feel close to someone we have lost, bring those memories forward and rerun them and relive special times.