Saturday, May 24, 2014
The loss of identity
Memory is identity. When you have no memories you are not living with a sense of who you are, you are existing. The very sad testimony of the men and women in my community who are care giving spouses with memory loss brings this truth to my heart almost every week.
I see the caregiver practicing the part of the wedding vow that many choose to ignore. For better, or worse. The worse has happened and your loved one does not know how to communicate, has no resevoir of shared experience they can call on, forgets to dress, and eat and plan for the day, yet their bodies are not near death. They go on day after day and month after year. Unthinkable loss of quality of life.
That's why we write our histories so others will know what happened, what we experienced. That is why we store our most precious and happy memories to bring back to fill idle moments and create joy in our life again. God remembers, and so do those made in Him image.
I was not alive for my fathers war, but the pictures and stories and movie recreations made it alive in as many ways as possible.
I cannot have every experience or see every place on this planet, but the words and pictures around me can give me a sense of Ireland, or Italy, or the north pole, which is not on my bucket list.
Memory is life and meaning, practice them, keep them, learn from them.