A trip down memory lane
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
In this blog, CARDI’s Director Dr Roger O’Sullivan finds that memories are invaluable and remembering the past can become a celebration of life involving many generations:
Last week my daughter came home from school with great excitement - she wanted to interview me as part of her primary school project – the topic of her investigation was her late grandfather, my father (who died long before she was born).
As a parent and a researcher, I was delighted I was able to provide expert insight – I'm not always so great on the usual topics of X Factor, Minecraft, Group Chat and so on….
Over that evening my daughter and I and indeed the whole family talked about my late father. My mother telephoned and she also became part of the conversation. It was such a lovely experience to talk and remember the things he liked, the job he worked at and my own memories – stories that were long since filed in the back of my memory. It was reminiscence in action.
In a recent article, Guardian journalist Adrian Morby reflected on the experience of clearing out his deceased parents' house and how a challenge became a celebration of their life. This again became an act of reminiscence - this time involving not only his family but neighbours and friends and their memories associated with items found in the family home.
He told how his son asked for the yellow and orange checked tablecloth with matching napkins that his grandmother had hemmed herself. It was a symbol of all those happy meals spent with his grandparents in the breakfast room. My own grandmother had a very similar table cloth and it made me recall meals at her house with my cousins when I was a young child.
As we grow older, life passes faster and faster. Our families grow up and our children, parents and friends around us seem to get older in the blink of an eye. Good memories might seem to last only moments but they are our most treasured possessions to share if we wish.
Dr Roger O’Sullivan