In Memoriam

Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we’re still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. We put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on bathroom walls. It’s all the same impulse. What do we hope from it? Applause? Envy? Respect? Or simply attention, of any kind we can get?
At the very least we want a witness. We can’t stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down.

Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

What a book!

Dedicated to my young BIL, who passed away this very day three years ago, losing his fierce and traumatic battle with cancer.

Here’s to you, R. We were witness to you.

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2 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. Ano, this post reminded me of a quote from the movie “Shall we dance”(2004):

    ***We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.” ***

    Somehow, some kind of validation to our thoughts, feelings, existence does lend a grace to our being.
    And there is a need to sing an ode, to reach out to the existence of the people who have mattered to us too.

    I’m thinking, I’m remembering…

  2. Ardra, I remember that lovely quote very well, and remember being very moved by it when I watched the movie. Yes, I guess validation is such an important part of our lives, and we notice it most when we see people affected by the absence of that validation in their lives.
    Thanks for understanding and sharing.

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