One of my most vivid memories as a child is of my grandmother meeting a friend of hers. They had met again after years, perhaps decades. My grandmother said to her friend “come let us remember”, and then they talked about the people in their past and those who were no longer among us. As a child, I was allowed to sit at their feet and listen.
That moment had a profound impact on me, perhaps because that act of remembering made me see my grandmother, for the first time, as a friend, a woman who had once been young, a woman who had loved and not just loved children like me. For the first time, I think, I saw her as a person and not merely as my grandmother. The recitation of those memories made her real to me, they made the people they spoke of real to me. Now I remembered them too, and the memory remains alive, though my grandmother died long ago.
I did not know any of the people killed in Christchurch on Friday in that way.
But I can learn, and we too can keep the memory of their lives alive.
So let us remember.
And may their memory be a blessing.