You are not the sole keeper of all things Cory (insert your partner’s name here).
You do not need to be the sole keeper of all memories. I felt so much pressure when he died. How will I tell our daughter about him? What if I forget, I only knew him for 7 years? What if there are things I am missing? What if I say something wrong? All the crap that rolls around in your head after someone dies can be absolutely overwhelming.
My suggestion is to get a notebook/journal/notepad/something else high tech that could help you write down the memories as they pop into your head. Write them down, type them, record yourself, whatever feels best for you.
Encourage your partner’s family and friends to do the same. All that anxiety of being the sole keeper is now displaced to the “said memory keeper.” It’s a beautiful thing.
Put something out for each holiday/family gathering that gives people a way to share a memory with you or your kids. At Christmas we still put Cory’s stocking up and the family has the opportunity to write a memory down and put it in the stocking. Choose how/when you want to read them. If you don’t want to do it in front of anyone, tell them. If you want to read it in front of everyone, announce that. If that changes year to year, so what…everyone grieves differently.
Ask your partner’s family/friends to send you videos of them telling a Cory (insert partner’s name here) memory. Do what you want with those videos, watch them over and over, save them for later, show them to your kids, show them to his friends that miss him, show his whole family, keep them private…it is up to you. You are the widow and you get to decide how/when those memories are shared.
You are not the sole keeper of all of the memories. That is too heavy of a burden to carry. We have enough to carry. We have to spend every day focusing on being our badass widow selves.
Allow others to share. Give everyone the space to share in a way that honors their own grief.