Circle of Memory

“I’ve got this, Jake.” Feels moved to his shoulder, caressing him with a wave of reassurance as they addressed their family. “My son has informed me he’d like to have a Circle of Memory, to remember everyone who isn’t here to celebrate with us today.”   “But we were having fun,” Marlo protested. “I don’t want to be sad.”   “There’s nothing sad about keeping people’s memories alive,” Ma reassured, nodding approvingly at Jake.
  A common tradition among many of the less prestigious and more exploited Families of the Sparnell Confederation, the Circle of Memory offers a way to honor loved ones who are no longer able to return. Often this is due to death, although victims of Soul Shatter, imprisonment, exile, or other political events are also included.   Those who are only temporarily absent, such as individuals on travel or serving their conscription, would typically be omitted from most Families' Circles. The disowned are also excluded, as the tradition is specifically for celebrating the memory of those the Family wishes were present, although the occasional rebellious youth has been known to ignore this rule for the sole purpose of causing a scandal.

Execution

They took turns, each fae settling to the table to name one person they’d lost who they wished could have joined them. The former cacophony was gone, instead replaced by a somber and respectful silence.
  The Circle is observed most often at Family gatherings. Typically the host or Family Chair will initiate the Circle, although anyone is welcome to request it. Participants take turns naming someone of significance to them who is unable to rejoin the Family, with each attendee choosing one new name to add to the list. Everyone is granted their moment of silence to state their remembered name. Duplicates are frowned upon, as is naming more than one person to remember, although exceptions are permitted in both cases for extenuating circumstances, particularly for children, or visitors and guests unfamiliar with the ritual.  
Jake paused briefly, before continuing with a new name he’d learned during his imprisonment. “Also Fleet Captain Selkirk Larissa.”   The dracoling jerked backwards in her chair. “Why her?”   “Because I Shattered her.” He fought to keep the tears from his eyes, smiling gratefully at his father as the necromancer squeezed his hand in return. “I had to. She was going to hurt Dad. And Razick. I just… I wish I could forget her face.”   “We all do things we wish we could undo sometimes,” Ma reassured, landing on his shoulder beside Feels. “Even when we’d willingly do it again, in the same situation.”   “Thanks.”   A heavy blanket of silence descended on the table once more, only ending once Pa settled onto the pie server, addressing the room with a carefully crafted cheer.   “This is delicious! Who wants another slice?”
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Generic article | Nov 16, 2022

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Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

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