Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hearing News

October 3rd came and went, and I did not feel any sort of urge or need to write. So I didn't. However, I enjoyed other people's remembrances of Andrew. And I made a comment on some blogs and thought I might turn it into my own little post. I feel like writing now. So I will.

Whenever I hear other people's memories and stories of Andrew, in some strange way, it's like hearing news of him again. Even if some of the things they say are things I already knew about. When Liane mentioned the little voice that whispers, " That's enough now. No one wants to hear this stuff again", I knew what she was talking about. I think everyone deals with that at one time or other, regarding the loss of someone who was so dear that the loss has become a defining part of ones' life. You don't want people to sigh, be tired of it, treat as trite something that is so painfully precious. But, at the same time, I am also certain that anyone who ever knew Andrew will want to hear news of him. Remembering these things among each other is how we do that.

Brad and I were talking recently and he mentioned an interesting phenomenon about dates. For instance, he might hear about something in the news with a date attached to it, like the war in Iraq starting in 2003. Or maybe he thinks, when did this book come out? Oh, 2002. Or, when did I work there? 2004? When did I fly there? 2001? When was this movie made? 2005? He was saying that whenever he hears a recent date, within the past seven or eight years or so, he always automatically thinks, "Was Andrew alive then?" It's not a big deal. Not that it makes anything good or bad. I guess it's just a mental habit, this Andrew timeline. But it amazed me to hear him say that because I do exactly the same thing when I hear dates. It's like everything gets sorted into two piles - before October 3rd, 2004 and after that day. I guess it's my frame of reference for this decade, and perhaps for the rest of my life.

I have my own odd little kitchen memory too. I can't remember whether it was the day before he died or about six weeks before, but he was at our apartment for a family gathering, and he had a paper cup he was using. Instead of writing his own name on it to distinguish it from the crowd, he wrote a weird joke name. I just went and looked at it in my cupboard. I keep it with the candles and the mugs I don't use, and I have a little note in it saying, "Please don't throw this cup away." I was just showing it to Brad and we cannot remember how the joke was started or really what it was about. I just keep the cup with his writing on it.

Nothing earthshattering. Just wanted to write.

1 comment:

Shari said...

So beautiful, Claire. I'm so glad you shared this.

We always have red plastic cups at our family gatherings, with a Sharpie next to them so we can write our names on them. We often try to outdo each other in coming up with ridiculous joke names. It gets funnier and funnier. :-)