Why are happy memories the saddest?


Earning My Ears
Mar 27, 2019
Does anyone else get sad thinking about the happy memories of the past?

Things such as grown children, deceased family members, events that won't happen again, etc...


DIS Veteran
Mar 27, 2007
I think happy memories have the ability to morph into the acknowledgement that life is constantly changing.

My happy memories do make me nostalgic, and sometimes wish things don't change, but I've learned to compartmentalize my happy feelings into 1 section of my memory. Things change and imagining what excitement the future may hold helps a lot!


Earning My Ears
Mar 17, 2019
I don't think it's the person per say but the memories.
The memories of loved ones that aren't here to enjoy our lives triumphs and won't be here for a shoulder to cry on to cope. My childhood was spent with family during major holidays like Christmas and easter. now, we do Christmas by ourselves. it's sad. my parents don't want to try anything new (I have suggested a bunch of things). we do go to my aunt's house but my cousins are grown with their own families that they need to visit so it's not the same. I know how you guys feel about happy memories.

It's that feeling that what we see in our minds, is different then realities kind of thing.


Jan 28, 2007
I think it's because a memory is something from the past and a happy memory is just that. Something happy the happened. It's something that you can't get back. Weather it was a person, place or thing (feeling?) that is no longer with us. It's sad because we miss that special feeling we had at that time. And like you said it won't happen again.

Claudia Kellenberger

DIS Veteran
Aug 19, 1999
My Husband and I are many years apart. I am now 65, and he just turned 90 in April. We have been married almost 35 years. We did 4 WDW vacations together, and then I did 18 SOLO annual vacations. You see, I became obsessed with WDW, while he got sick of it all. This worked for us very well. I got my beloved solo WDW vacation, while he stayed home - comfortable, with our 2 cats. While I was at WDW, I called home a couple of times per day, and DH was able to relate to certain rides I talked to him about. His favorite was BTMR. I also called my Mom every day that I was away. ( And, I have no children or grandchildren )

I have been skipping my WDW visits for the last few years because DH has a heart condition - and he's now 90.
My Mom died last year at the age of 91.

So ….. although I know I will be at WDW again ……. I anticipate that it might be sad for me. I won't be able to call my Mom, and I won't be able to call my Husband.

I have already told my best friend, Cindy, that the next time I go to WDW, I will call Her as soon as I land in Orlando, just to tell her that I arrived safely. She's going to take up the slack of when I would call my DH or my Mom.

I am so blessed to have girlfriends !!!


I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
May 4, 2006
Does anyone else get sad thinking about the happy memories of the past?

Things such as grown children, deceased family members, events that won't happen again, etc...
Pretty simple - recalling fond memories from the past can't help but also feel like loss, when those things include people and situations that have come and gone. :goodvibes For me, it's very innocuous things like a display of lunch-boxes at Wal-Mart that take me back to DS's childhood and tending my flower garden, which reminds me of my wonderful mother who has now departed. :grouphug: FWIW, I wouldn't trade my precious memories for the lump in my throat though.


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