Memory Jar

Photo prompt: © Priya Bajpal


“Can I take one now?”

“Breakfast first.”

Deena sighed. She ate her oatmeal and drank her milk, but her eyes kept returning to the seashell table Dad had gotten for Mom. Before. To the jar that usually stood on the mantel. Since.

Finally, Grandma rose and put her mug in the sink.

Now that it was time, Deena hung back. She remembered filling the jar, with Grandma, after the accident, when memories were fresh and both their hearts were broken.

Grandma took her hand. “Come. Reach in. Pick one, and you’ll see – the right moment with them will find you.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers


35 thoughts on “Memory Jar

    • Yes, it can certainly be! This story was inspired by a memory jar that a family I know had made for a child they lost to a terminal illness. They’d written memories on note cards: of things their child liked, of things they did together, funny things that the child had said. On special occasions: holidays, that child’s birthday, the anniversary of the child’s passing–they would take the jar out of where it was usually kept and would each unfold one such note and read it and talk about it and reminisce and remember their loved one. It was painful, but it was also joyful in the sense that times it reminded them of which were not only of the last few months of that child’s life, when things were very bad. I thought it was a very brave and inspiring way to remember a loved one, and this photo reminded me of it. Thanks for the comment, Trent!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Na’ama Y’karah,

    Before I read your comment to Trent about the origin of this story, it resonated with me. Such a sweet way to keep a loved one’s memory alive. I love the line about writing the memories while both of their hearts were broken. So much story in so few words. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Rochelle. Yes, I find there’s always a lot of story in every loss, and that so much memory–of all kinds, sometimes–that can seem ‘slippery’ or hide under the events that surround the death. Different people find different ways to remember, but I love the memory-jar way. Not only can one ‘revisit’ a memory every time one needs or wishes to, but more memories can be added to the jar as one recalls them.
      I’m so glad that some of the complexity and feelings were communicated in this short piece.


  2. Such a beautiful thing to do. We keep hearing about memory jars… to start a new one every year and every time something nice happens or is done or whatevs, put it in. I keep saying I will, then, of course, don’t…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amie! Yes, I too love the idea! If you look through the comments you’ll see I wrote a bit about the background for this idea. Sorrow is inevitable and some losses are devastating, but people find ways to cope that are ever so creative and helpful! Na’ama

      Liked by 1 person

    • I sense you are right … though hopefully the sadness will be mixed with some sweet remembering. Grief cannot be rushed, but it can sometimes be diluted, for a moment here and there, by the memory of love. Thank you for this comment, Na’ama

      Liked by 1 person

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