How a Sorting Hat Could Manage Painful Memories

How a Sorting Hat Could Manage Painful Memories 

The other day a friend was amazed by my memory. She couldn’t get over how I remembered so many things from so many years ago. I realized long ago my mind was merely a clearinghouse for trivia and useless information, but I’ve found a way to appreciate having a sense of recall, although at a much slower pace now. As I like to say my computer takes longer to reboot.

However more and more of late I’ve questioned whether or not a good memory is a positive or negative feature. Is it good to be able to remember so many facts and figures and replay old memories at a moment’s notice? Especially when lately I can’t remember what I walked in the room to get from one second to another?

I think any Harry Potter fan is aware of that magical wonder called the sorting hat. It was used when one enters Hogwarts to determine in which house the student will reside. So if the sorting hat is so smart maybe it can help me with my memories.

When someone reaches the “golden years,” (that phrase always cracks me up) there are certainly far too many memories to recall. Some we try to call upon and others seem to flash into our minds with no warning, like a bird into an airplane engine. With I’m afraid the same unfortunate result.

I need the sorting hat to ensure the unwanted memories don’t slip through the cracks and attack what was otherwise a pleasant day. 

With the help of the sorting hat the remembrances we would not elect to keep could be sent off to a special part of our brain to remain stored away.

Lately I’ve become acquainted with a new term, grief dreams. They are the strange dreams we have after a loss of someone close. I thought I was losing my mind when I awakened every morning thinking what was that about until I learned a close friend who’s recently also lost her sibling was also experiencing them.

We have no control over what we dream so while sleeping and faced with vivid dreams about our loved ones we cannot stop any painful results. Yet when we’re awake I’d hope we’d be able to restrain our thoughts. But as usual when believing I have some power over my life, I was wrong.

Wasn’t it Hamlet who famously said, “for in that sleep of death what dreams may come must give us pause.”

Well I’d like to pause these recollections from invading my space.

Anyone who has ever known me will tell you I’ve always believed humor was a cure for all ills. Now at this age I see how wrong I was. There are some circumstances where a laugh is not up to the task and loss is one of these times. 

Memories have a mind of their own. They must populate a place in our brain where there are no fences or door with locks. This makes them capable of rushing out to play whenever they wish. 

A sorting hat would put a lid on their freedom. A childhood memory of my brother and I with my grandfather could not simply attack me while I’m driving in the car and singing along with my favorite song. Or when I’m in the shower rinsing the shampoo from my hair and suddenly there’s a memory coming at me full force and I’m sobbing instead of making my grocery list.

I believe it’s difficult when one loses your parents and becomes no one’s child any longer. 
Now I have lost the moniker of sister. Yes, I still have one brother, but it doesn’t seem the same. I was a sister to two and now… Why should these labels matter at all actually, especially when we’re older and yet… Does time heal all wounds or is that a fantasy we embrace to pretend the pain will eventually stop?

I know these memories I seem to be castigating are actually a necessary part of our lives and we need them those who are gone nearby. So as painful as it is, I know in the end remembering is a good thing. To recall happy moments is vital even though when a wound is fresh the happy may actually seem painful. 

Friends who have experienced loss say it gets easier with time and eventually thoughts that are now causing pain will bring a smile. I wouldn’t doubt that is true, but right now a sorting hat seems like a very good idea. Perhaps it could choose to let through the ones that might cause the least hurt and save the other memories for when I’m a bit stronger and able to handle them.

Some recollections will always cause a pang of pain.

Whether a cruel remark from a classmate, a break up or even a disappointment the marks of these experiences seem to leave scars. In time we learn to form some type of defense against them, but loss that’s a tough one.

The finality of losing a loved becomes more real as time goes by. And each memory opens the scar again. 

Memories keep someone alive and that’s what we want. It just seems sorrow is a high price to pay.

But would we rather forget? I think not. For in the end we are all well aware of the fact no sorting hat, no forgetfulness can hide the truth…we need to keep the people we love close to us and reminiscences accomplish that. And no hurt or tears could ever be too high a price to pay.

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