I did not forget her.
You cannot remind me of a great loss
I never forgot in the first place.
So, fear not. You can remove that responsibility from yourself right now.
Nothing you say can remind me of a love that has never left my mind.
My loss has nothing do with you, dear friend, and I mean that in the kindest possible way. What makes you think you have that much power over another person’s feelings and memory?
Rest assured, you do not.
Nor do I hold that power over you.
Would you forget?
Do you imagine that you would forget your own flesh and blood?
(Hint: You wouldn’t)
Would you forget you once had an arm, if you lost that?
Would you forget you once had an able body, when you are bed ridden?
Would you forget you once brought forth 7.5 pounds of bliss into this world with all its blood and guts and shit and sweat and pain and gore, which you barely even noticed because looking into those brand new fresh eyes was the most profound thing you had ever experienced in your measly life? Would you forget a thing so perfect in its beauty and purity that it made you forget every bit of pain and suffering you had ever endured? Would you forget a person that brought forth from you a perfect love? The kind of love you hear about, and pray to God you’ll get to experience one day? Do you think, once you felt it, you would ever in your life forget the source of that love?
You would not.
And nor will I, so do not expect me to do so. And never think that YOU would be the reason I remembered the pain of the loss of her. The pain is my own, for the loss of the love that was her.
You would not forsake the love for a being that could awaken those feelings in you. You wouldn’t want to forget if you could. You would struggle to find a way to love the being that you can no longer see/touch/smell/taste/hear. And then you would find a way, or ways, perhaps, if you are very lucky. You would find a way to express your love for that being, and nothing or no one will ever get you off that track again. Because it’s the hardest, most important thing you’ve ever learned to do. It’s showtime. The rest of your life was just practicing scales getting ready for this song. A song no one wants to write in the first place, but here you are, hundreds of eyes on you while you take the stage no one wants to play.
Create it or die or live life with an unbeating heart.
You would choose life.
But barely at first. It feels like cheating on your departed love when you first begin to REALLY choose life. But your new skills—skills you never wanted, thank you very much—teach you how make tangible your love of the unseen. You can love both now: seen, and unseen. It feels like you just uncovered some secret power.
So you would choose life a little bit more.
But you would never forget her. The love never dies. It never diminishes, even a fraction of a percent. In fact, that love flourishes deep within the cracks of your broken heart.
You would long for someone to speak her name so that you had a tangible way of communicating that love.
As for me, even if not one other soul ever speaks her name to me again,
I will not forget her.
I do not want to.
I never will.
And, my friend, I beg you to remember her with me.
Alice Marie Ferguson
July 26, 2011-August 6, 2013