From this interview years later of Juan Romero, the man who had held Robert Kennedy’s head after being shot, we can see one of the lingering effects of trauma. He speaks of his experience as a 17 year old bus boy who was shaking Kennedy’s hand just as he was shot. Juan speaks of his lingering guilt believing that he was partially to blame for the death. This is a kind of hindsight bias that is common in traumatic situations where someone can create self blame, inserting oneself into a traumatic set of events, whose trajectory could only be known after the fact. Therapy can help to unravel this self imposed bind to greater acceptance and self-forgiveness for survivors of trauma.
Who could have know that developing an interest in photography would be a saving grace for a daughter who reunites with her homeless father and documents his life through photographs.
In therapy, we often look at the various aspects of our past to make sense of them and to look at the impact of past experiences. I’m thankful that today is Memorial Day, the holiday to remember those who died serving in our armed forces. You would think the act of commemorating would be a pretty straightforward but it turns out to be a rather complex nuanced process both individually and socially in terms of what is worth remembering and how our past should be honored.
Story corps is a perhaps one of the most popular among many efforts to preserve individual stories. Here is their collection of individual stories commemorating the experiences of war for soldiers as well as those affected by their service.
Here is a research article looking at differing styles of commemoration in two war museums and how they shape the “proper memory” of war.