One of the things that alarms most new widows is the fear of forgetting. Nearly all of us are afraid that those precious memories will slip away from us into the recesses of our brain, never to be retrieved again. While that’s rarely what happens, we are able to summon up those warm recollections when we want to, nevertheless, the anxiety about losing them only adds to our distress. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Capture Your Memories in a Jar


This is a time of year that lends itself to reflection and remembering. It’s also a good time to begin curating those very precious memories in a way that’s accessible whenever you want them. I think I’ve come up with an easy way to do it. Right around the time my husband died, all kinds of posts and memes about saving memories throughout the year began popping up. It occurred to me then that I could do the same thing, but with a twist. Instead of recording my memories in real-time, as they happened, I could write them down as I remembered them.

Each time I poignant thought about my husband crossed my consciousness, I wrote it down. I then took that slip of paper and tucked it into a jar for safekeeping. In the beginning, I pulled out those slips of paper often in the beginning. I do it less often now. I don’t need to reach for them. I am comfortable in the knowledge that those memories are safe and sound in my jar on the kitchen shelf. Many days, it’s enough to be able to look at that jar and know what it contains. It always makes me smile, as I recall, generally, a love I shared with a wonderful man.




It’s really easy to create one for yourself. I used a really pretty jar that came with little blank cards from Kind Notes, but you could do something different. Find a jar that you fancy, maybe a Mason Jar, maybe an antique jar, just something that appeals to you.  There are lots of ideas you can find on Pinterest Memory Jar Ideas.  For the notes, you can use any kind of small piece of paper. I also liked the quilling strips that crafters use. The exact format doesn’t matter, so long as you like it.


Lightning Memories in a Jar


So what do you say? How about giving yourself a gift to start off the next year with your memories intact?  I’d love to hear what you think about this and see photos of what you create.

Have a very blessed Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!






Mary Lee Robinson





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About the Author

Mary Lee Robinson was widowed suddenly in 2013 and found herself totally unprepared for what was to come. In a new state for a mere 11 months when her husband died, there were few supportive friends or family around. She set about creating some, and started a social club for widows and widowers in her community. Within a year, it had grown to 170 members. That told her quite a lot about an unmet need. She gathered 25 widows and widowers to write a book to share their stories, and the surprises, good and bad, that they all encountered as members of the club nobody wants to join. It is her hope, and that of the other storytellers, that the books help prepare and educate.  Mary Lee lives in the Low Country of South Carolina, caring for her Mom and is a native of Towson, MD, just outside of Baltimore. Her constant companions are her dachshund and rottweiler dogs. Mary Lee Robinson is the author of The Widow or Widower Next Door and 5 of the Grief Diaries series books, all of which are available right here in The Grief Toolbox in her marketplace You can find more of her work on her Widowlution blog, practical tips for healing and living, at and on her Facebook page for widows at The Widow or Widower Next Door.