From the PREFACE by Fredericka A. Jacks, publisher: These writers recall not only the suffering but also the courage demonstrated by those who are sick and by those who participate in their illness. The writings consistently reminded us, in some ways, of Paul Tillich's expression (and the title to one of his books), the courage to be. In many of these writings the reader will be grasped by the human need for connection and the desire for existential meaning when confronted with pain and suffering. In pain we suffer a fear of non-existence and want to forget, but in the anxiety of forgetting we risk denying life. From the FOREWORD by John F. Lennon: PAIN AND MEMORY refuses to shy away from looking at those tender moments of pain. Whether it is unflinchingly writing about the moment of death ("Mack the Hermit") or trying to come to grips with the loss of a loved one ("Cartography") or the reeling that happens at the end of a relationship ("Heartless") or attempting to understand an injury ("After the Accident") or finding the exact words to discuss the feeling of being abandoned ("Kiribiri"), this anthology does not Hollywoodize pain or sanitize its imprint on those who are affected by it. Instead, these stories pull back the gauze that hides the day to day wounds of our lives and, with surgical precision, allows us to viscerally experience them. In the process, what this anthology will allow us to do as readers is revisit our own stories that we comfortably tell and retell, forcing us to dissect our own memories under the harsh light of truth. And if we are brave enough to look at this pain, as these authors do, what we might discover is a strength that reveals itself at the core of our humanity. After all, if it is true that from our birth to our death we are wrestling with pain, then, as these stories can attest, we are also spending every second of this time persevering as well.