Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In time, people forget.

"And, as they always do, in time people forgot, though forgetting is an elective process." -Josephine Hart, 'The Truth About Love'

I am struck by the meaning of this sentence. "In - time - people - forgot." The weight behind these words is especially apparent when I think about loss and grief. No matter how earth-shattering, how cataclysmic an event in one's life, eventually, and quite often too soon, everyone surrounding us seems to forget. People move on, go about their normal lives, while we - the afflicted (and, we all are the afflicted at some point in our lives) - are stopped in time.

"Cataclysm" is defined as "a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition," or more broadly, "an event that brings great changes." Overwhelming upheaval and demolition...I'm left feeling like we ("the afflicted") are razed buildings, torn down and forced to attempt to rebuild ourselves from the ground up. This is exhausting. Sometimes, we don't have the right tools. Sometimes, we don't have enough workers for the job. So, we are left broken down, half constructed, insulation poking through the cracks.

Sometimes, it's tempting to think that maybe forgetting IS an elective process, though I'm not sure I agree with this. I try to distract myself from certain things, go on living my life, occupy myself with other thoughts, activities, concerns, but still, underneath, I can't forget. There is a raw part that rises up, sometimes when I least expect it...a sneak attack of longing and grief. Things should have been so different. That's the part I wish I could electively forget.

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