Flashbulb memories

“Flashbulb memories are nearly photographic recall of paticularly shocking events. The specifics of flashbulb events can change in our minds, but what is nearly impossible to erase is their emotional impact”   Michael d. Lemonick- The Wall Street Journal.

For me being in a new relationship I have constant flashbulb memories of moments in my past marriage.  When someone dies it is not the big romantic moments you remember, it is the small silly details.  This morning my new partner who I am living in the mountains with went to the fridge, and grabbed a slice of baloney.  He smeared it with mayonnaise.  I sat there entranced watching him roll it up, and pop it into his mouth with such glee.

I was in a complete flashback to my previous husband who loved baloney, he used to make bread, butter and baloney sandwiches and freeze them.  He would take a stack of them to work.

When his doctor told him to cut back on fat due to high cholesterol, I nagged him about his baloney habit.   Flash forward to now, watching my fiance, pop baloney into his mouth made me feel warm and sad, there was a bittersweetness to the memory.

Memory is an interesting thing.  I was thinking about what causes us suffering in life, and I believe a lot of it has to do with hanging onto memories.  Hanging onto the past, investing life force energy in past experiences.

Recently we went to see my finance’s mother who has alzheimers, she was joyful, happy, living right in each moment because that is all she has left.  Is this not what we strive for in enlightenment?  To live in the moment?

What is the purpose of our memory?

Researchers tell us that our memory is designed to help us accumulate knowledge to make sense of the world and to navigate it better.

I know my memories are not exact, they are my interpretation, and from my perspective, and speak to the emotional impact the experience had on me at the time.

How often do we have “relationship flashbacks”?  Where we notice something our new partner does, and it triggers a past memory postive or negative from a previous relationship?

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