Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remembering Well

A few years ago I lost my Grandma Doty. I was closest to my grandparents on my mother's side, the Doty's. Four years before gram's death, Papa passed away. In the year after my gram's death, I came to a point where I felt it was time to let go of grieving but I didn't want to. I was afraid if every time I saw a flower which reminded me of her or heard a hymn which I could hear her singing I didn't cry, well, that meant I forgot her. I didn't want to stop grieving out of fear of forgetting.

We just celebrated the 9th anniversary of 9/11. Time and time again, I heard the call "to never forget" the lives lost. I couldn't move ahead personally out of my grief over my grandparents' deaths until I chose to remember well instead of trying not to forget.

How does one remember well? On birthdays and anniversaries for my grandparents, I try to do something they enjoyed or we enjoyed together. Perhaps a trip to an ice cream shop, Papa took us down the street when we were young to Dairy Queen. My grandmother loved gardens so planting a garden or working with plants helps me to remember well.

I wonder what remembering well those who lost their lives on 9/11 would look like. If they lost their lives because of intolerance and hatred, how can we counter that with hospitality and love? Does remembering well change the discussion over the mosque 3 blocks from Ground Zero? Instead of trying not to forget, perhaps we can remember well.

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