“What did I do with my glasses?” I ask.
“This is strange. I’ve looked everywhere.”
This was me in my twenties, thirties, and beyond. This is me today. Five minutes ago. Perhaps if I’d gone to a Montessori school, things would be different. Nope. Forgetting has ever been a part of my norm.
“Let me put this right here for now.”
I might have zero recollection of putting something down as I ride the reverie in my mind. The introvert living the good life privately within. Lost in thought or imagination.
This was me, as early as 10 years old, literally bumping into a wall; my nose in a book. Not looking up until the bump shakes me from my reverie.
“OMG! (checking calendar) I think I missed the Snowflake Party! I’ll bet they’ve already opened the gifts....well, at least I mailed my gift in time….WAIT! It’s not the 18th yet! It’s only the 12th! Argh!!!….”
This is me.
The messy, distracted version of me comes round often enough that I now call her “friend.” That other part of me which alternates with the focused, everything in its place me.
However, this is not the forgetting of grief.
Added to the consciousness of forgetting I’ve wrestled with all my life, I got up from bed this morning to jot down the reality of another type of forgetting. The “trickster” of grief bringing an unsettling and unpredictable amnesia that happens more often than I would expect since this spring marks three years since I lost my beloved.
The reality of this forgetting often happens right before I wake up fully. I am conscious of needing something. Something is clearly lost. As I pull on the golden dream thread, still not fully awake, I am trying to understand what I’m forgetting. It’s right there….then not. Finally, I remember. I don’t think I’ve kissed Dan in a while. I wonder, blurrily, why that is. Then it hits me. It is Dan who is missing….and it all comes back.
It’s as if I am looking for something but I’ve forgotten what it is. Then I recall.
It’s a kiss.
It’s a hug.
It is my beloved whom I have suddenly forgotten died 3 years ago.
The wake up from this is tremendously sad.
So, so sad.
I feel an ache to realize, as if I’d never known it.
A tangible longing overcomes me.
I long for his kisses and safe, gentle hugs.
In my mind, I must go and find him immediately to hug and kiss him again and again.
Then I remember: he is gone.
It does help me, after the crying stops, to remember that he is here with me in other ways. I see signs of him. Maybe he was sitting on my bed holding me as I cried for him.
But in that moment, it is not enough.
We feel the death of loved ones most acutely–there is something radical about the change in our reality. We are not given optios, there is no room for negotiations, and the situation cannot be rationalized away or covered up by pretence. There is a total rupture in our who-am-I-ness, and we are forced to undergo a great and difficult transition. —Pema Khanadro Rinpoche
Eventually, I let go once again. Making an effort to be satisfied with all we had. Continuing to seek him in signs around me. Paying attention.