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Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.


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My apologies if this has already been brought up.

In another post, Kayc's words reminded me of my own feelings and the difficulties associated with my memories of Tanya, her life, our life together, the battle for her life against cancer, and her subsequent death. It had me thinking of the movie ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. In the film, people have the option of trying out a new experimental psychiatric treatment to selectively remove memories. The movie focuses on a couple who have experienced a turbulent relationship and go their separate ways. The woman decides to remove the memories of her former partner to help ease the pain. I won't go into further detail, but I liked the movie and its provocative content.

It had me wondering, given extremely painful memories, would I make use of such a procedure or technique? My wife was alive when the movie was showing (2004), and we saw it together. We agreed that in some circumstances it would benefit some people. Because we had experienced a great loss early in our marriage, the exercise of deciding what we would do if given the option of memory erasure was not just an intellectual one. We agreed that even though the memories of our daughter's death were overwhelmingly sad, they were part of a rich tapestry of all types of memories woven through our lives together. I went through this thinking process again after Tanya's death. Would I erase memories if given the option? If it would ease my pain, would it be worth it?

Of course, I would no longer know that the erased memories were gone, so that is something to be considered. I came to the same conclusion; I would definitely not want to forget her pain, my pain, our ANGUISH--any of it. Have these memories been debilitating? Yes--and they remain so. I have to admit I'm derailed. Yet, I still think (hope) there is hidden value in difficult recollections. Without these painful memories, I would surely know that Tanya was full of love, grace, character and strength, as she exhibited them constantly throughout her life. But those final years so distilled those characteristics in her, that I would feel impoverished having gone through them with her and having no recollection of them. Witnessing them without remembering the price we paid, and how clearly it revealed her true, beautiful nature seems unthinkable to me now.

I think a different circumstance might bring a different response. Anyone else?

Beauty that dies the soonest has the longest life. Because it cannot keep itself for a day, we keep it forever. Because it can hove existence only in memory, we give it immortality there.

~Bertha Damon (A Sense of Humus)

Edited by Steven
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No, Steven. No memory loss under any condition for me. I won't stand in one spot...I need growth. I told my daughter one day that I am remembering more and more good all the time. I did spend a lot of time with his pain, being afraid of what might happen, totally willing to take care of him no matter what happened. He had two heart bypasses, two leg bipasses, progressive diabetes with its complications. He couldn't even walk upstairs without taking a break half way up. But my husband rarely complained of the pain or of the things he couldn't do. I took care of most everything, even getting the boat in and out of the water so we could fish together and I loved every minute of it, learned from it, even though I knew he was always in pain, we didn't talk too much about that. If you remember, I didn't even get to say, "good-bye" because it happened suddenly and I wasn't there. But the Good Lord really did spare us both those hard last moments...he was gone immediately and I didn't have to see his last pain. I would not want to forget anything whatsoever.....I really feel it's helped me grow in so many ways. We all go our different ways depending upon our past and circumstances and I am now finding peace and quiet with my good friends, my dog, my garden and everything that is beginning to work little wonders in my life. I pray the for peace that can come your way.....when it's the right time.

Your friend...Karen

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No, I wouldn't elect to erase the memories even though it'd ease the pain, because along with it would be the wonderful positive memories and benefits of having known that person. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Life not experienced is not life at all!

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Debating within myself, selective memory deletion, YES, I would pick the unpleasant memories of people actions done wrong to me at the final days, I would never give up anything of my wife, she would remain in my personality, soul, forever.

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