I can’t look at pictures

When someone dies, many people want to look at lots of pictures and often they’ll hang these on the wall within the family home. Which is fine, but be aware of the points previously made in ‘Changing things in the family home’.

However, some clients just can’t bring themselves to look at pictures of the person who has died. This can be a problem because they also say they don’t want to forget what the person looked like.

So, a possible dilemma.

A way to deal with these concerns is to visualise what your husband, wife, daughter, son etc., actually looked like.

What colour was their hair? Were they tall, or short? Were they well-built, or slender? Did they have freckles, and what colour were their eyes? What was their hair like: wavy, straight, long, or short? What style was their hair cut in? Did they wear glasses and if yes, what sort of style? Frameless, half round, designer? And typically, what clothes did they normally wear? A jeans person, or more formal?

When you used to take pictures of them, did they stand still, or mess about just as you took the picture? Maybe pull a funny face, or tilt their head to the side because they knew you would always say to stand properly.

Did you have to remind them to pull their tummy in, or brush their hair?

As you can see the list is lengthy because your relationship with your loved one was absolutely unique. By thinking of your loved one in this way you are simply, but accurately, describing them from all the memories in your mind. In other words you have a vivid picture in your own mind, so why not put a ‘copy’ of this visualisation i.e. a picture, on the wall, on a shelf, next to your bed?

Clients have shared with me that when they have thought of it in this way, they have managed to put up a picture and therefore overcome their fears of not remembering. To help them retain the memories pictures may create, many people write a brief note on a ‘Post It’ which they put under or behind the picture.