When we lose a loved one at a young age, it’s like losing a fragment of us that we never knew we had. We’re told they are gone, but we have no memory of them, no perfume that will fade as time goes by, no echo of their touch left on our skin. It is mere emptiness. So, we sit by those who remember, and we collect pieces of that person through the stories told, maybe we will have enough to build a memory for ourselves.
We became used to the puzzle being incomplete that some days, we forget there’s a missing piece. ‘Till we hear their name, we see a picture of them, and all the pain we never felt engulf us. Why couldn’t they wait for us a little longer? Why did they have to go at all? Maybe it would have been easier to watch them get snatched from our hands, but they slipped right between our fingers, before we even got to hold them.
Is it selfish to envy someone else’s pain, is it insensitive to want what they’re left with? They remember everything; a conversation, a smile, a thought, a color, above all, a goodbye. But, it’s not about who suffers the most, or whose more heartbroken, we all share the same loss.
So, how do we grieve someone we don’t remember? We keep them alive in our hearts. Talk about them as if they were here, think of them when we’re happy. Let the glorious years they spent on this earth mean more than the fleeting moment of their departure. It is not too late to learn about them, no one can be gone without leaving not so much of a piece of themselves behind.
When the night falls, and the brightest stars light up the sky, we will remember that the greatest memory is our love for those we’ve lost.