Helpful people are forever telling me that I need to forget and move on. I’m sure that they have the best of intentions, but that is never going to happen. I don’t mean to say that I won’t be able to eventually pull the shreds of my life together into a coherent whole and make something of the rest of my life. I’m sure I will find a “new normal” someday. But I won’t forget. I don’t want to forget.
Look inside yourself and think of your own closest family members. Could you forget them? Cut out that part of your life as though it didn’t exist? I doubt it. Love lasts long after death. The grieving eventually stop talking about their loss, but that isn’t because they have forgotten. It’s because so many people signal that they don’t want to hear about it any longer. That’s what you are really saying when you tell someone who has experienced a loss to forget – that you don’t want to be reminded of their pain. At least, that is how it feels. So we withdraw and wear a mask. We bite our tongues and don’t say the things we need to say. It hurts. I am lucky that I have this blank page to tell my thoughts to. I think I would go right off the edge if I didn’t have this outlet for my feelings.
I asked the mother of a young woman who was murdered 25 years ago if she still thinks about her every day. Of course she does. Your child will always be a part of you. The time I spent with my 3 boys, brief though it may have been, is a part of who I am now. It was good time and I am grateful for everything they gave to me. I will never forget.