I recently had opportunities to reflect on what memories are all about with the passing of some friends. The more I thought about it, the more interesting my reflections became.
Please join me.
Simply put, memories are thoughts that evoke emotions and images of past occurrences.
But when I think about sharing memories, the fun really begins. My sharing can take place with others who were there at the time of the creation of the memory, or with others who have had similar experiences and can relate to your memory, or I can share with strangers or friends who have little or no connection to my historical stories.
These situations all have different aspects.
Sharing memories with friends who share the same memories because the original event was shared with them is the most enjoyable. Over time, this sharing gets coded into a glance for eye contact and a smile, and we move on—no need to verbalize the entire story.
With the passing of a friend with shared memories, there is a significant loss, as sharing is no longer possible with the same level of intimacy.
Sparking other people’s memories with my memories can enrich both our lives, but it is limited. How often can our different but relatable memories be shared before one of us cries ‘Uncle?’
I think it is the same with strangers and friends who can’t connect with my memories. When I hear memories from others, I’m interested as it lets me into a perspective of their life that helps me understand them. But with each telling of the same memory, the value drops.
This leads me to the complexity of valued relationships.
I used to fall into saying, “I’ve probably told you this already,” before proceeding to tell the story again. I now try to remember to ask the listener if I had told them the story before proceeding. Hopefully, with my long-term friends, we don’t retreat into long periods of silence. This motivates me to keep exposing myself to new, quirky, and current situations and ideas.
Please give this a bit of a think. What are a few memories you cherish? Who do you share these with? What memories do you enjoy hearing from others?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.
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