When a loved one forgets

18 Jun 2011By Norvin Chan, Singapore

Often, a single memory resides not in one mind, but in two. Every passing bit of life in the company of a loved one leaves a gentle imprint on two moulds, and every imprint, an echo of affection.

We remember together; that unique happiness of recounting previous happiness.

We forget together; that partial burial of troubling venial history.

But what happens when One forgets alone?

The Other remembers. Not because of the fact that remembering is unavoidable, not because every object seems to limn fresh again the faded flowers, and not because the ghost of the past persistently whispers the do-you-remembers.

Rather, the Other remembers because there is a duty, despite the way the terrible truth now turns each former joy into sorrow and each former sorrow, regret.

The duty is a defiant one, mocking in the face of the tragedy that its deed will never be consummate, that there lives on – the remembrance.

The duty is a desperate one, fearing that the effacement of memories will only hasten with the passing of time, that this must be the now or never.

The duty is decided after much thought, with the knowledge that memories can be created through blessed shared moments, that memories can be destroyed through shattered framed pictures, but that memories should never be negated through cold murdering, forgetting.

When One forgets alone, the Other remembers, alone.