As founder of RememberGrams, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for everyone who visits my site. Whether you are deep in grief yourself, lost someone years ago who you still carry with you, or are looking for a way to support a friend; I hope you find something of value here.
Feel free to explore the website, read the blog and join our newsletter. Reach out with any questions. My greatest pride is knowing that each RememberGram sent is helping to carry on someone's memory and bringing love to someone's mailbox. Thank you for helping to normalize the sharing of these stories and the acknowledgment of each other's losses.
This picture I chose here is not a polished and professional photo. It is real, raw, and messy. To me, it is a representation of the elements in our personal walk through grief; messy, dirty, imperfect. I hope if you fall flat in the mud that you can stand back up and laugh from time to time with the help of those around you. I hope a RememberGram can help you along your own path, or that you can help someone else on theirs.
We know that the memories and stories you carry with you are personal, especially memories of people who have passed away. It can feel uncomfortable to bring those out and put them to paper to be shared with someone. In our society, we feel incredibly uncomfortable around grief and loss. It is normal to worry that you would only be reminding someone of their grief by sending them a RememberGram. Those same fears and discomfort that you have about sharing your memories, are what keep that loved one quiet about their grief. They miss the person who is gone, and your story will not remind them of their loss (they likely think about it more then you can know); but rather will remind them that they are loved and the person they miss is still remembered. That small reminder is incredibly meaningful and powerful.
I created RememberGrams from my personal experiences with grief and loss. The foundation is love.
The very moment I fell into the dark abyss of deep grief was 4 days after my 26th birthday, as a I crossed the threshold from my hallway into my kitchen. As I walked across, that place and moment marked my before and after. It was there that I heard my grandmother say three little words: "Baby, she died".
I could write for days about every detail of that morning. The power of the denial as I asked repeatedly if they were sure she had died, if anyone had actually checked. The looks on each of my brother's faces as I told them the news that our mom had died suddenly and unexpectedly. But all of the details can be compressed into those words- "Baby, she died"
It has been many years since that day. The grief I went through was deep and dark and long. I still think of her, still feel her, learn from her and miss her; everyday.
The death of my mom was earth shattering to more then just me. I had three brothers who were all also grieving. Our youngest brother James was only 15 when she died. He was her baby, her youngest, and they had a bond to reflect it. Her death shattered him too.
In the complicated and winding story of our family, there was already a struggle with addiction and my oldest brother. It is a story with so many layers that I am still peeling them back, but it didn't stop with him. My youngest brother starting using after our mother's death; addiction and grief were the private wars our family was waging and fighting against.
Sometimes, finding words to explain loving a family member with an addiction is overwhelming. Are there enough words in the dictionary to describe all of the emotions we feel? We struggled and fought and loved and hoped.
My older brother's addiction led him to incarceration and a continued battle with mental illness. That is a whole different kind of grief. Grief and shame and hopelessness, and then hope again.
James. It still leaves a lump in my throat to know that he isn't here. In the years following our mom's death he struggled. There were times I thought it was hopeless, I'm sure he had more of those moments then I did. Until he found recovery. He dove deep into reading about inner peace, got a job he loved and was planning for the future.
He emerged from that dark place where we had only been seeing pieces of the boy we knew and loved. He came to every family get together and we had a wonderful summer together, breathing relief that he was okay. Until the day he wasn't. He, like so many young people, died of an accidental overdose. His death has been another lesson in grief and it's many layers.
Each of these experiences, and the millions of moments that they encompass, have led me here. I am no expert on grief. I cannot guide you on your own journey or pretend to have some special wisdom. What I do know is that stories of the people I have loved and lost are indescribable gifts. When I have received a random message, a new photo or video that I have never seen; it is worth more then money can buy. I created RememberGrams because how wonderful would it be if people shared these things more freely? Remembering does not keep us stuck, it frees us to move forward with them, tucked in close to our hearts.
You will find pieces of my story throughout the website, particularly the blog. Thank you for being here, whether you are on your own journey or helping someone else along theirs.
Grief always comes from a place of love. You are acknowledging this love, giving comfort, and showing that you care.
You will brighten someone's day by showing them that you are thinking of them and remembering their loved one.
We honor the legacy of those who have passed away by continuing to share their stories.
You are preserving memories and photos that could otherwise be lost on a phone or in social media by putting them in a printed format for the recipient to keep.
Why You Should Send Someone a RememberGram
We get it. Grief makes you uncomfortable. If it has been some time since someone died it is easy to think that you will only be reminding their loved one of their loss. We hope to help create a culture shift around grief and loss and normalize the acknowledgement of these emotions, which are universally human and normal. Sending someone a note to say you are thinking of their loved one does not exacerbate their grief or remind them of it; it validates their feelings and makes them feel loved and seen.
A place to honor those who have passed away by continuing to share their memories and stories, and to provide comfort and support to the families and loved ones who miss them. Moving beyond traditional sympathy cards and societal norms to encourage more dialogue, acknowledgement, and acceptance of grief and loss.