In October, we focused on the theme of Letting Go. During the month of November, we will be reflecting on Memory.
November is a fitting month in which to remember, as it is both Native American Heritage Month and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Holidays such as All Souls and All Saints, Samhain, and Dia de Los Muertos evoke memories of loved ones now departed. Veteran’s Day has us remembering and honoring those who have served in the armed forces as well as remembering the costs of war. November 20th is The Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day for remembering and grieving those precious lives lost to transphobia. And, of course, Thanksgiving Day with all of its complicated history, invites us to wrestle with the question of what history we remember and what history we forget, just as it invites us to remember with gratitude the many blessings of our lives.
Memory, like Letting Go, is such a rich theme, that there is no way to cover all angles in a month of Sundays, and so I offer you these questions to ponder on your own or with family or friends during the coming month:
• What takes you back? And where does it take you?
• What smells, tastes or sounds evoke special memories for you?
• What is your earliest memory? And why do you think you’ve held on to it so long? Or…why is it still holding on to you?
• What mementos or “memory objects” have you held onto and what do they represent for you?
• What has been forgotten that ought to be remembered?
• How has your memory changed as you’ve gotten older?
• How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?
• If you had to limit the memories shared at your funeral to three, what would they be? And how will your answer shape how you live the rest of your life?
I hope these questions will help you to engage with the theme. I invite you to share your reflections with family and friends, if you feel so moved. These could be good conversation starters as you share a meal with loved ones. And, of course, if something comes up in your reflections that you’d like to share with me, please be in touch!
See you in church!
PS – If you are interested in being part of a short-term group to talk about grief and letting go, please let me know…