There are many challenges associated with grief and loss that I expected, but I didn’t expect this one. On Lisa's birthday, I found myself thinking about her and thinking about us. As I reflected, I realized that I hadn't been thinking about her as often. I wouldn’t say it’s been a long while, but in terms of the time between reflections I have of her, this was by far the longest.
And I found myself struggling for the memories. How could this be? How could I be losing the memories? I already lost Lisa, isn’t the deal that I lose Lisa but get to keep the memories? Didn’t I sign that somewhere in some death contract I made with life?
I started to panic. Over the next few days I was obsessing of any memory of her. Pulled out the old video tapes, drove by the ole hangouts, pulled out the love letters. I felt like I did something wrong. That by not thinking of Lisa enough, I was being punished with the loss of my memories.
How many times do I have to go through the same damn cycle to learn that I am not done yet. The answer of course is as many times as the cycle happens. So here I am going through another grief cycle, this time grieving the loss of memories, a devastating double loss considering the fact that Lisa is already gone.
I am now at the “acceptance” stage of the cycle (once again), I am slowly getting to the “not feeling guilty that I’ve done something wrong” stage, but not there just yet. I hate it that Lisa died so young, I hate it that I will probably be alive longer than I knew Lisa. It makes me sad to think that in 20 years, the memories will seem like 5 lifetimes ago.
But just like the early stages of grieving Lisa's death, time will move forward, life will keep on moving, and I now know that the memories will become more faded. And like before, I will continue to cherish what I have and the memories I do remember, instead of obsessing over what I have lost. After two years, the lessons just keep coming. Swell.