Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day

Today, Memorial Day, is the day we honor all those who served and remember how they risked their lives in wartime. It was first celebrated after the Civil War.

But today is also when my family is making all sorts of arrangements, among them, a memorial service for my dear cousin Ann who died on Sunday.

The word memorial has derivations starting in Latin, not surprisingly:
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin memorile, from neuter of Latin memorilis, belonging to memory, from memoria, memory; see memory.]
from TheFreeDictionary
I especially like "belonging to memory." After someone dies, what better way is there to describe how they can still be in our lives, while no longer physically present?


With a six year-old daughter who was part of my cousin's life since the day she was born, and vice-versa, I have been struggling for a very long time how I was going to tell her when the inevitable moment came. How much should I tell her? But when it happened, it happened exactly as I do all things—directly. I was as gentle as I could be, told her, answered her questions, and held her as we both cried. One of the only reassuring moments in the conveying of this terrible news was that I could tell her that Ann would always be a part of our lives. That we had memories and pictures and drawings to keep her with us, to help us remember.
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