It’s a very simple proposition: what if we forget?
What if we forget the details?
What if we forget their faces?
What if they become reductionist cartoons, selective memory, fixed inside our stories, unverified by outside confirmation?
What if they were not at all as we remember them?
What if we got the stories wrong?
What if they’re just cringing in their graves that we speak of them at all?
What if they still have consciousness?
What if there is reincarnation (or whatever) after all?
What if they don’t forgive us?
What if we can’t forgive them?
What if we’ve nothing left to say?
What if there’s plenty to say, but we can’t say it, or can’t say it out loud?
What if we want to preserve memory but are afraid to write it?
What if we obliterate their memory?
What if we leave their graves unmarked?
What if we say what we really feel?
What if we keep our feelings to ourselves?
What if we don’t say kaddish?
What if we don’t say kaddish anymore?
What if we forget them?
What if we are in turn forgotten?
What if the living just get on with living?
What if we don’t?
I fear the end of memory. Fear the letting go the last story. Fear losing their faces, holding conversation with them, remembering their smells, their laughter, their words, their love, their lack of love — whatever it is, I fear it.
And I don’t fear it at all.