A Few Steps Closer

What happens when you start to forget the person you lost?

 Lara McCaffrey and her family pose for a selfie at torrey pines State Natural Preserve. (Photo by Lara McCaffrey)

Lara McCaffrey and her family pose for a selfie at torrey pines State Natural Preserve. (Photo by Lara McCaffrey)

When we lose a loved one, distracting ourselves can sometimes make grieving easier. We dive into work, school, hobbies — anything to keep our minds busy.

This often helps dull the pain. But it can also make you forget things you didn't think you could, like what your loved one looked or sounded like. And when you forget things like that, it’s almost worse than being sad.

Writer Lara McCaffrey had such an experience, and on this episode, she shares her story. It’s a story about trying to heal yourself in the wake of a devastating loss—and about the struggle to dull the pain, without losing that special connection with the person you’ve lost.

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I was spending so much energy trying NOT to think about my dad, that I was literally forgetting him. ... And so now, not only was he gone physically, but I couldn’t feel his influence on me anymore. It’s like he was miles away. Unreachable.
— Lara McCaffrey