Interested in learning new and creative ways to remember your loved one? Sign up for my newsletter.  

The Healing Power of Retracing Your Steps

Have you ever heard “These Foolish Things”? The song recounts a long list of sights, sounds, and objects that conjure up memories of loved ones. Take a listen here.  With a nod to this popular standard, go back to that restaurant you enjoyed together. Return to the hotel. And if, for you, this idea involves getting into nature, consider the enormous emotional benefits I write about in Passed and Present that stem from being outdoors (Forget Me Not #85).

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, individuals who speWhite Chair View from Cheryl's Housend time in green, natural spaces focus less attention on negative aspects of their lives and open themselves up to the kind of thinking that brings them joy – including happy memories of loved ones. Gretchen Daily, coauthor of the study, told me: “Never before have people been so detached from nature. There is growing evidence, however, that reintroducing nature to people who are deprived of it can improve mood. Many individuals feel better in a natural setting, perhaps because it helps them let go of pain.”

Creating just this kind of positive space for remembering is the backbone of every Forget Me Not in Passed and Present. It’s also the springboard that enables us to celebrate loved ones who have passed while enthusiastically, unreservedly, and joyously embracing our present.