Friday, 22 June 2012


The memory is a strange thing. It does play tricks. We can have three different people in the same place and each of them remembers the situation very differently in two years time. I suppose a memory is not an accurate guide of reality. Rose tints fall upon them and can alter how we think we experienced an activity or situation. Or memory can let us down.

In the weeks after my dad died I would wake in the night, terrified I would forget about him. I couldn’t remember his face and it threw me into a panic. I scrabbled round for the only recent picture of him and reprinted it for every relative I could. Of course I can remember what he looked like now, and experiences of him but at that time my memory faded to black. I tried to remember his voice but it wasn’t there.  Perhaps this is a normal part of the grieving process but it was nightmarish. My memory was playing tricks on me temporarily.

The memory is selective too. I’ve plenty of things that I have been glad to forget, only to resurface when I am more able to deal with them. This is a surreal experience, like a part of my personality comes back to me after a long time missing. That’s probably just me though.

As I get older my memory is getting worse and worse. I used to be quite good at remembering things, so this means I miss lots of appointments as I have never kept a diary.  It’s been worse in the past few years since I began studying again as a mature student. Perhaps I’m like Homer Simpson, as a new piece of information enters the brain it shoves out an old piece. I am hoping this is temporary, after all sometimes if I’m not concentrating I can answer a question without thinking or choose the perfect word for something. It just pops out from some unknown region of my brain matter. Whatever the case, memory is a tricksy little creature.


Ashley R Lister said...

It must have been terrifying to fear you'd forgotten the face of someone you loved.

Memory, as you say, is a tricky little creature - and a hateful one sometimes.

Brilliant post,


Louise Barklam said...

I completely agree with you Linz. About forgetting how someone looked after they'd passed away, how their voice sounded, and the nightmare you can put yourself through. I'm getting worse for forgetting appointments and like you I have never kept a diary. What are we like eh? My trusty calendar is now my saving grace, unless I forget to write something in particular on it of course, lol!

Enjoyed reading this, made me feel much better to know it's not just me. Big hugs.

Lou. x

Jo Michaels said...

I think all memories are tricksy. I know what you mean about being scatterbrained. I have that problem pretty often as well. Like you, I only hope that it gets better and not worse.