There are events, deeply personal, that stay with you. These may be rather insignificant to others, but to you they are pivotal. A tiny prompt such as a snippet of a song or a chance fragrance on the breeze may call to mind a first kiss, an award, or a million other things may fill your nostalgic heart with joy. The darker emotions too can be raised as well, and anniversaries of the death of a loved one, or other personal tragedy may come unwanted at intervals into your life. These each are our individual but shared lot
The shared impact of mutual experience also stays with us collectively. There are those “where were you when?” moments that seem to unite us. In my life there have been several. I was alive when JFK was assassinated, though I was too young to actually recall it. I do however remember the death of ML King and the unrest that followed; the space shuttle Challenger explosion and the shock of it on the faces of those around me; the death of Diana and the rush of several of my friends and family to London to be part of the collective loss. I can recall vividly my headteacher coming into my classroom to tell me of the 9-11 attacks and the television images of a world in horror. Now, today tens if not hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have queued for nearly a full day will gather for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Her death is one of those defining moments as well, an event that stays with you.