Healing Through Memory and Objects

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Image Credit: Deirdre Prins-Solani

There is a second kind of death which shadows grief. And that is the slow paced dying of memory, and its strange anxious bedfellow, the fear of forgetting. Where once images of a person were crystal clear, stories of experiences and Life walked together were sharp – with time and age, these fade. There are moments, triggered by a smell, the timbre in a stranger’s voice, a facial muscle shifting expression when the sharpness and clarity return, but with time these become fleeting and rare. The knowledge of this is what haunts us when grief is new – the fear of forgetting which so often is reiterated by the ways in which the rhythm of Life for those around us appears to remain unchanged and uninterrupted.

And so the value of the object. Its sensual materiality offering a glimpse, a trigger into the past. A retrieval mechanism from an archive buried under layers of present concerns, mismatched puzzle pieces of the past and anxieties about the future.

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