I remember JFK’s assassination. I remember MLK’s and RFK’s assassinations as well, and the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Death, with both finality (and media coverage!), is clear and concise. The events leading to the deaths of these famous people are within my first row of mental file cabinets, and to this day I can pull out the details with ease.
I remember my first real kiss (at the back of the bus). I remember in exquisite detail the night I lost my virginity. I vividly remember my wedding day, and witnessing the birth of my children.
I remember the first moon landing. I remember the sunrise on the day I left Campos, Brazil. I remember my college girlfriend’s bitter stare after I broke up with her. I remember the kick to my head that put me in the hospital for a week, and the fall that broke my wrist.
I remember most everything that caused a shot of adrenalin to course through my veins.
In a sense, these memories are all about death, symbolic or otherwise. I cannot go back and experience them again. They are gone, nothing more than memories. Did I make them up?