Almost magical

Rescripting a Painful Memory

Sharing Stories
January 13, 2024 at 2:55 p.m.
Free photo of woman crying
Free photo of woman crying Iris Wehrle

Rescripting a Painful Memory

This was for an assignment in graduate school: My mom was very ill with stomach cancer when I was in high school. She died when I was 16. We had her hospital bed in our large dining room, and whenever I came home from school basketball games, I checked on her prior to going to my bedroom upstairs. She needed my help to get off the bed and go to the bathroom. 

She’d put her arms around my neck. She was in a lot of pain.  I rarely, if ever, saw my mother cry. But that night she was miserable, and she started to cry. 

I took a deep breath and whispered, “Mama, please don’t cry. I can do anything if you just don’t cry.” So, she bore that pain silently as did I.

I can only tell this story now without crying because I rewrote this memory.

In my rescripting, I let her cry and I cried with her, and I told her how much I loved her and how much I would miss her.

Iris Wehrle is retired from WA State where she was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for 18 years. Her mother, Martha Louisa Thorpe Price, was a homemaker and died at age 58.

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