PAIN, SORROW, GUILT, REGRET
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF MEMORY
WHILE WE CANNOT REMEMBER OUR MULTIPLICATION TABLES, THE LOVES WE'VE LOST CAN NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
The Mind Is A Funny Thing: Sometimes It Seems It's Only There To Preserve Our Suffering
Perhaps you have never lost anyone you love. Maybe you have never had that sudden, terrible realization that you will never see that person again. So you cannot know what it means, what it feels like, to have that sharp, cold penetration of your heart by regret and pain, sorrow and suffering you had never imagined possible: You didn't say goodbye. You forgot to tell him or her that you love them. You said something you shouldn't have. And now you cannot take it back. You cannot ask forgiveness. You cannot say or unsay, do or undo anything ever again. So you do not know what it means to experience an abrupt break in your life, and you will never know what it means to have become stranded in a future forever cut off from your own past, alone. You will never experience, hour by hour, minute by minute, day by day, year by year, the loss of your own life, that part of it that died with the one you loved.
How sharper than a serpents tooth it must be to lose a child, especially for the mother. To have carried another life within you; to have watched the person you created grow and mature and become an entirely new and different human being. To watch him struggle and learn, suffer and rejoice, get sick and grow better, every day for ten, twenty, thirty years. And then to lose him. How, how do you bear that loss?
This is what our exalted leaders should think about, before they send our sons and daughters into combat.
This is what we hope Barack Obama thinks about before he becomes just another President.
I know he is thinking about this now, as he watches his grandmother die, just as he watched his mother die, of cancer. May all of our thoughts go out to him, and remain with him when he finds himself with the power of life and death. May he never do anything that causes infinite regret.
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