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We Are Living Reminders

Published at Killing the Buddha on September 3, 2014.

Mapleton’s Heroes Day ceremony is an attempt to limit grief and pain to a day on the calendar. If only we could dwell in our grief for a moment and abandon it just as quickly. If only grief would cooperate with our attempts to box it in, to limit its parameters, and to only bother us one day of the year. Mapleton gathers together for a cathartic release, and the Guilty Remnant becomes an easy target to assuage collective grief. Grief, however, refuses to be tamed. It cares not for a calendar. Grief owns us and breaks us down. We try to rebuild ourselves in its wake. We often can’t.