Life at № 42
“Memory is often a social construction. Certainly in the context of grief, memories are often elicited and shared in group settings with family members and friends. Information is disclosed, information is absorbed, and memories change in the process.
According to psychological scientist Robert Neimeyer and his colleagues in 2014, grief involves “processes by which meanings are found, appropriated or assembled at least as fully between people as within them.”
After the death of a loved one we look for meaning, we create meaning, and in the process we often agree with others on what a person’s life must have been like. As Neimeyer and his colleagues say “a central task of grieving is the reconstruction of those narratives.” From my own research, I can tell you that these reconstructive processes can be very creative, covertly weaving compelling pieces of fiction into the story of a life.”
So we’ve got constructs, and constructs of constructs. And then constructs of those. I think I might simplify all of this by drowning Schrodinger’s cat.
It is fascinating, though. In recent correspondence with one of the four people I found on Facebook, I asked what their main impression of me as a child was. I expected I was going to be told quiet, distant, cold, or something along those lines. Instead I got: There was a pit-bull like quality to you. What’s that supposed to mean? I was taken aback. I know I’ve always been slightly abrasive, but that seems like an extreme characterisation.