No, seriously. I realized that just this last week and I’m no spring chicken.
You see, I have this thing where I can’t stay still once an idea has implanted itself inside my head.
This is especially true when it comes to knowing, you know? When you remember something suddenly but not quite, there are missing pieces, some data has gone rogue and it escapes you, so you must know, you must remember, so you dig. You dig deeper and deeper in your memory until you hear that *click* and then all is well, you can go back to being chill, because you know.
Unless what you want to remember was better forgotten, or sometimes that thing you remember leads to go looking for the next thing. This last one is what happened to me this last week.
Rainy days, limited access to internet and that damn need to know.
It all started with a name I had forgotten, the name of an author and his book, someone I knew well once, at least well enough to love him briefly, someone of the few who knew me. I did a search for the book and the name, and instead of just a link to said book and where to buy it, I found an obituary.
It wasn’t a recent obituary, it was back from 2000.
We have a notion of how the world is, a view of which people is in it living their lives, at least of the people we know, the ones that matter even if they weren’t the best people all the time, they matter to a degree to us. We think we know, that they are out there somewhere, doing something. In this case I was wrong.
The world was minus one for 17 years and I just found out.
How do you process a loss that is not yours anymore? How are you supposed to feel when you discover, by chance, that what you thought true isn’t, and hasn’t been for years?
Is there such a thing as delayed mourning?
Is it fair to be sad for someone when we went for years without really thinking of them?
Or is this sadness something else?
A kind of selfishness, a yearning for our own peace of mind, because thinking that this person was still alive and building their own happiness somehow comforted us.
I’m all caught up now, but there was no *click* and there was no chill afterwards.
There’s this hollow tiny place where the story I wrote for him in my mind got ripped.
No loss, no yearning, no mourning.
Just missing pages.
~ Martha Idalhí.