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LOSS
Posted November 9th, 2009 - 1:24 pm from Gurabo, Puerto Rico
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Posted November 12th, 2009 - 2:03 pm from Portland, United States
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Posted November 12th, 2009 - 5:33 pm from Cardiff, Wales
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Posted November 12th, 2009 - 10:23 pm by from Vancouver, Canada (Permalink)
Hello Gitana, Cadence, Sally,

Sometimes I wonder how I'd feel if our house burned down and I lost all of my photos. I'm pretty attached to them, no doubt about it. They're not in albums, just in thematically ordered envelopes in a cardboard box. I go through them now and then, especially if I'm looking for something in particular. Since we got a printer/scanner/copier, I transferred a few of them onto my hard-drive. But that could die in lightning strike, and the photos with them, as many did, of our wedding and our living roof that I didn't have in hard copy, or on a back-up disc. Neither John nor I are big picture takers any more, since our younger, traveling in Europe days, a little more again since a friend gave us her digital camera. But, as Cadence said, the most potent memories are still there, in multi-sensory storage. If and when we begin to suffer or experience some form of dementia, we'll really be in the process of letting go anyway.

Sometimes I think about a time, a hundred years ago or less, when ordinary working people didn't own cameras, or cars, or have electric lights or go to movies, etc. We live in a world now so filled with fixed images, and so many belongings, where only a moment ago most of what we had was the place we took up and the roles we played in our community. Now the images are fixed but the places we take up are often so much in flux.

John and I talk about a time, some few years hence, when we sell our house in Woodstock and go on. What would we take? The box of photos would be amongst the last of the things to go. But.... Over the years, as we've lived in different cities across Canada, we've lost touch with most of the people we knew in each of those cities and provinces. I'm better at phoning, visiting, writing, than John. But even many of the folks with whom I shared the closest friendships have drifted away, lost to the miles and years. As Cadence said to Sally in the second thread, on the loss of her baby, I've had a lot of opportunity to explore the emptiness, to let it sink in, to grieve, to listen to the silence, to listen for other possibilities, for other doors to open, for the music and poetry of what is left, and of who I've become in the unfolding.

In the end, the most important recovery I ever did was recovering from long-term recurrent depression. Relative to those 33 years of recurrent loss, everything else seems reasonably negotiable. The house of my containment is full of holes, and soon my garden will be indistinguishable from the surrounding forest, the forest that is calling me home.

I wish you courage and perseverance in your loss and your recovery,
cheers from a Canadian gipsy
falcon

Posted June 29th, 2010 - 4:21 am by from Wheat Ridge, United States (Permalink)
i have discovered that losing my mother in a car accident made it impossible for me to look at her pictures. i have tried to hide them, force myself to look at them, but nothing really compares to the incredible pain of confronting myself with the reminder that she is gone.
at times the sense of loss is so overwhelming that i feel like running away and starting a new life in a different town, without memories. i understand perfectly how amnesia is a blessing for some. i know that pain can take different forms and meanings, but i'm looking forward to the day when my own meaning will overtake me.