Home Coping & Grief Remembering Her

Remembering Her


Do memories fade or do they really last forever? I suppose I keep hoping it’s a bit of both. The memories that evoke anxiety will go black; those that make me sad will maybe just lose their colour; and those that make me smile will stay vivid and clear. I have always had a good memory and have never been able to decide if it’s a blessing or a curse. I certainly carry a lot of useless information inside my head but it also feels like I have my entire life on a flash drive up there. I remember moments, dates, arguments, dreams and nightmares. I have a lot of happy stored inside of me. And I have a lot of pain.As I come closer to the one-year anniversary of the worst day of my life, my memories hurt more than they have before. I’m sure the obvious assumption is that the memory of my accident is plaguing me and it is, but it is not what is causing my current heartache, panic and overall feeling of helplessness. It’s the memories of before. For as long as I can remember, I have had a habit of backtracking my life by dates (it’s been a week, a month, a year since ______. Or one year ago today I was ______). But this process has become gut wrenching, especially as I look back on photos I took in the weeks leading up to March 10. It feels as though I am witnessing the last days of my own life. Like I am watching someone swimming, knowing that they are about to drown and I cannot get to them or yell to them or warn them in any way.

All I can do is watch her – me – in all of my unsuspecting happiness.

I can put myself right back to life a year ago. I remember the warmth of a very sunny February and feeling proud of myself for walking to school on those beautiful days. I can smell the scent of our boys’ bedroom freshly painted and feel the excitement of painting our bedroom next. I can feel the relief when my mother-in-law dropped off macaroni & cheese and popsicles to our sick household. I remember the anticipation of our two-week Spring Break a couple of days away – I was hoping everyone would be healthy by the time the second week came around and Ian was off work. I remember me, the way I was then.

I put myself into my memories and I want to scream at that woman who is taking her life for granted. I want to tell her what is coming but I know she can’t handle it; I know she would crumble. I want to tell her to go run outside with her kids just one more time (preferably barefoot). I want to tell her to get over her fear of bike riding (as ridiculous as that sounds) and get the bike her kids desperately want her to get. I would make sure she had sex – good sex – one more time because now it will never be the same again. I want to force her to hop out of bed next time the baby wakes in the night instead of hitting her husband because ‘it is his turn’. I want to force her because soon she won’t be able to hop up at the sound of a nightmare-fueled cry and it will almost break her. I want to tell her that there will be tears and anguish and anger but that she will be okay. She will be changed, but okay.

As brutal as remembering can sometimes be, I cannot wish a memory away. I already know what it’s like to lose something that most people take for granted and I know there are people out there aching to remember just as I ache to have my body back. But I will wish to cope. I want to be able to look back one day and see that woman for who she was without feeling frustrated and sad. I would love to smile at the memory of her and, ultimately, I would just love not to miss her so much.

We all have a life story based upon memories. Every minute of every day has the potential to become a part of our story. I’ve learned that you never know when an ordinary moment may become a memory: good or bad. I’m sure some of the memories will fade. But maybe I’m wrong and they will all last forever. I suppose it depends on the person; I suppose it depends on the memory.

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Virve February 17, 2017 - 2:04 am


reddcurlz February 17, 2017 - 2:05 am


Kat February 17, 2017 - 3:09 am

This is utterly beautiful, just like your IG which brought me here. There are millions of us dealing with old life new life syndrome. You are not alone. Perhaps you’ve found your calling: helping others cope using a good sense of humor, a smile and sharing the gut wrenching realities of new life things like choosing the right cath and mastering how it works! I miss my old life, but I love my new life because I LIVE my new life.

Nichole Randall February 17, 2017 - 4:20 am

Codi, some of your posts make me laugh out loud; some of them make me cry; some of them give me time to reflect. Some do all of those and more. Your writing is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

kim February 18, 2017 - 4:58 am

When I lost my mom to cancer and then my best friend a few years later, my family members and friends kept saying, “You have to live for today.” It is so much easier said than done. This post is one more reminder. I cannot imagine being in your situation Codi, but I am so happy you are open and honest about your experience. I am grateful you have become a friend.

Codi Darnell February 18, 2017 - 5:23 pm

It’s a tricky thing to live for today. We definitely have to try but we will always remember how it was. I am thankful for your friendship too.

Kristy P February 18, 2017 - 8:45 am

You always put things into perspective for me. Thank you for that.

momsspott February 21, 2017 - 2:59 am

I totally understand these feelings. I look at pictures from before my sons cancer diagnosis and I want to reach back in time and slap old me. The regret of not doing something I lost the chance to do eats me alive.

Codi Darnell February 21, 2017 - 3:01 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your son. It’s hard to live in the moment while also wanting to be in the past. Still trying to master the technique.

Why I Tell You Everything – Help Codi Heal May 6, 2017 - 8:56 am

[…] I have not gone back to read yet. However I recently went back for the first time and read my post “Remembering Her” which was very personal and tough to write. I read it as I sat in my kitchen, alone, with tears […]

Anonymous February 21, 2018 - 10:15 pm

I follow you on facebook and saw your status for this repost. You asked us what version of ourselves do we often look back to. This brings me back to the darkest deepest hurt I know. For me, I feel that i’ve lost my identity before the age of five when extremely traumatic events happened to me. It changed me forever and I keep wondering who I would have become had those things not happened to me. I would be so different. Or maybe I would be similar, I can’t ever know but I mourn for having my true self stolen from me. It is such a deep hurt having my identity taken from me because after those events, I became someone who formed her identity around the trauma. However horrible this was and is on me, I can’t help but be somewhat grateful, because even though I wish I could see who I would have been, damage-free, this damage has caused me to develop positive attributes. For one, I heal amazingly well compared to others of my bad fortune. I have a gift of turning my pain into gifts, and I am very resilient and strong. Its a strength I may never have developed had I not been so deeply wounded at such a young age. I keep flip-flopping from being sad and angry to being grateful and wise and realizing that I am amazing, because of the good and the bad of my life. Life is so complex, but it is wonderful when we are able to find the treasures given to us through pain.


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