Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Shared Memory

We gather to recount stories of someone who is no longer there. The memories reach back far earlier than the ABC memories I normally recount here. They go back to my childhood and long before I was born. And as I look around me, I see that they are memories many of us share, whether we are old or young or somewhere in between. And I am moved by the power of that shared memory. While I do not share the everyday with most of the people around me, we are joined by our connection to the memories.

It occurs to me that what I have been missing these past few years (in addition, of course, to the stable work and salary to which I had become accustomed) is that kind of shared memory. There is power in the common experience that we can share, and that we can feel without even speaking it. There is comfort in knowing that those around us understand because they have been somewhere we have been and seen some part of what we have seen.

We gather to say goodbye to someone whose life we all have shared. And we live, just for a moment, in the experiences her life allowed us to share. Because memories can be so much richer when they are shared...

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