"Any tips for dealing with painful memories?"
Painful memories show up as easily as the sweet memories. They are not the actual event that was painful, so you have some distance. The great thing is they come and go. That doesn't mean it won't feel painful to feel and see these memories. But it helps to know they will pass. Plus it can make you thankful that this particular hard time is over.
Sometimes we buy things when we get overwhelmed with old feelings about the past. Advertisers know this. The ads make it seem like acquiring their things will make it better. But it's a band-aide on a volcano. It's best to let the volcano blow. In the moment we may not feel this way because it hurts. But if you have the space of awareness during painful memories, try and be aware of the memory's progress through your mind and body. It can be a rough ride. But soon enough you'll notice the memory movie is over. Some other thought or memory has taken its place.
I think it gets difficult when we have painful memories and we feel it's going to last forever. "This pain will never end!" That brings fear in with the pain and it makes things unbearable. This projecting into the future is clutter because it doesn't serve us in the moment. We don't know what the future holds. We do know from experience that change is constant and soon these thoughts will be over.
It helps to not try and eliminate the painful memories. When we try and cut these off, we make ourselves numb. This dulling lessens the happy experience we get from joyful memories. Imagine the painful and happy memories are part of the same river of life that flows through us our entire life. The less we interfere, the more peace of mind we experience.