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Saturday, January 18, 2014

The emptiness of memories lost

Just now, I glanced at a Facebook post I made on Father's day this year in which I said, "saw 'Man of Steel'" and I thought, I'd like to see that movie some day. Then I realized as I read the post, that I HAVE seen it, with my daughter (it was her Father's day gift to me). I remember a while back that I embarrassed myself by commenting that I'd like to see that move ("Man of Steel") in front of her. At least then, I could assure her that I remembered her taking me to the movie, I just didn't recall the movie. Now I don't even remember those images that enabled me to say I remembered her taking me to the movie. I just remember the fact that she did, as if I read it in a book.

No recollection remains, and I find that intolerable not to remember special events in my own life except as footnotes I read on a calendar. It feels as if life stopped for me on the day that car hit my bicycle, and I woke the next morning in the hospital. I almost said, "with no recollection of the day before," but that's not true. I remember reading something I wrote, that at the time I remembered what had happened when I woke up. I just don't remember remembering.

It feels as if I am not experiencing my own life! I'm just reading about it in a book, yet there's a difference. When I read a story in a book, I imagine the events. No images form in my mind when I read about my own life. It's as if the hole where my memory should be, blocks me from re-imagining the memory.

Please pray that I find a way to overcome this complete loss of memory over time.
The emptiness left by lost memories feels intolerable.

It concerns me that this post appears so dark, when my actual attitude is hopeful and not at all depressed (Ok, maybe a little depressed, but not the dark lingering kind of depression, but rather a passing sense of loss). I suppose this description of my experience with memory loss is a bit depressing to read, and I chose this graphic by Marie Sivak (Sivak, In the make: Studio visits with West coast artists) to represent a life trapped in the binding of a book. But don't read depression when you read my description of emptiness. Yes, I feel loss, but I also feel hope. Maybe I'll recover some day. Maybe I'll find a way to accommodate this loss with some other way to remember. I am NOT defeated in any way.


Sivak, M. (Photographer). (2014, January ). In the make: Studio visits with West coast artists [Print Photo]. Retrieved from 

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