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have been added to our list of unfinished or incomplete emotional events with them.

Even after they have died, as we replay the events, we keep winding up hurt and helpless. We do not know how to end the vicious cycle. We may attempt to not think about them, but then a reminder will appear, outside of our control. We may see someone in the mall who looks like them, or a car similar to the one they drove. These reminders will often send us back into the pain caused by the incomplete emotional relationship. Most of you will realize that it is not possible to eliminate someone from your memory. You most assuredly cannot control the stimuli that cause you to remember a "less than loved one." Even attempts at total isolation rarely work, as even dreams can rekindle painful memories. When a less than loved one dies, we are often left with an extremely lopsided memory picture, almost exclusively negative. It seems as if we have become the victim of these painful, negative memory pictures. We are also confused by our relationship to the painful memories that keep recurring. We must grieve and complete our relationship to the person as well as to our relationship with the pain we generate when we think about or are reminded of the person. And, we must grieve and complete our unmet hopes and dreams and expectations. You must become willing to re-experience some of the painful events, and finally communicate what you would have said had you been allowed to, or if you had known how. It may seem frightening to root around where there has been so much pain. Perhaps it would be more helpful to be frightened of the alternative, a life of restriction and limitation caused by staying incomplete. The alternative is to keep the pain forever, by trying not to remember, and by trying to avoid any circumstances or events that remind you of that

person. Many people today talk of giving away their power. There is no clearer or more painful example of that then to have your lifes actions and reactions ruled by the painful memories of someone who is no longer here. Question: The above article relates to a "less than loved one" who has died. What about "less than loved ones" who are still living? Answer: The exact same principles apply when the less than loved one is still living. In fact, it is probably even more essential that you complete your part of that relationship as soon as you can. If not, you may live in constant fear of any kind of interaction with or reminders of that living person. Completion of your part of a relationship with a living person does not imply that the other person will or should change. Most likely they will continue to be just who and how they are. The difference is that you will be able to live a life of meaning and value, not limited by painful reminders that a relationship did not live up to hopes, promises, dreams or expectations. This article was written by Russell P. Friedman, Executive Director, and John. W. James, Founder, of The Grief Recovery Institute. For more information about their programs and services, visit their website at For your time of need, contact Clary Funeral Home, family owned and operated because it makes a difference. Please ask about our pre-planning options. Located at 3004 West Lake Avenue, Peoria, IL. Call us at 309-686-0166. Visit us on-line:

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August 2013 Peoria Healthy Cells Magazine Page 25