How would you interpret the last sentence?
I hadn’t known what I was doing then, but my memories of Murph were a kind of misguided archaeology. Sifting through the remains of what I remembered about him was a denial of the fact that a hole was really all that was left, an absence I had attempted to reverse but found that I could not. There was simply not enough material to account for what had been removed. The closer I got to reconstructing him in my mind, the more the picture I was trying to re-create receded. For every memory I was able to pull up, another seemed to fall away forever. There was some proportion about it all, though. It was like putting a puzzle together from behind: the shapes familiar, the picture quickly fading, the muted tan of the cardboard backing a tease at wholeness and completion.
How would you interpret the last sentence: the muted tan of the cardboard backing a tease at wholeness and completion.?