Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Webster defines "memorial" as "something that keeps remembrance alive; as a monument."
I love that the word "alive" is used in the definition. To remember is to keep something, or someone alive. Of course, we cannot literally prevent someone from dying and it is harmful to go on pretending someone is alive once that person has died. It is also harmful to forget when person close to us has died. Relationships continue after one person has lost the other, albeit in a different sense. Death does not negate the relationship that existed before it. One does not cease to be a parent, spouse, or child simply on the basis of death.
Rather than confining our relationships with those we have lost to a few certain holidays or remaining in a wishful past where we artificially keep our loved ones alive, we could benefit from genuinely internalizing the meaning of our relationships, including the pain of loss. Allowing those relationships to change us in healthy ways is one way to "keep remembrance alive."

In memory of Maria Sue Chapman.

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