Thursday, July 11, 2013

When the lines blur


It started out innocently enough...

Just chatting away about nothing really, then it reminded of some memory. "Remember that time..." I said to Steve.

"Um, that wasn't me."

As soon as I realized that it wasn't a memory I shared with Steve, but a memory I had with Jeremy, I was immediately embarrassed, then angry with myself for not remembering something about Jeremy more clearly. How could I confuse that?

But it's happened several times. And not just with Steve. I remember it happening in different forms not that long after Jeremy died. Talking to friends about something that happened and not remembering whether or not Jer had been alive for it. Listening to a song on the radio and not being able to recall if it had been released after he died or before.

These blurred lines between before and after can be so disheartening. It made me feel like I was losing control, and more agonizing, losing pieces of Jeremy. How could the memories I put on such a pedestal be getting fuzzy? What does this mean for the future?

The only comfort I found in all that was also realizing that it was just a sign of life moving forward...and that I was allowing it to happen. I held on so tight for so long, but eventually when you let other things seep into your life, you have to loosen the grip. I don't mean forgetting or letting go, but allowing the things that are here and now to change and grow, and knowing that Jeremy is forever stuck in yesterday. No new memories will be made with him, only in ache for him. No new experiences will happen with him by my side, only made with others or by myself.

The idea that I've embraced this evolution somehow is oddly comforting. Like, I'm finally getting to where I feel like Jeremy would want me to be. I might think harder before I blurt out a memory to make sure I've got the details right, but I know Jeremy would be proud of me for letting normal life seep into my bones a little more each day.


  1. I was married to Laura for 28 years, before her death, and she constantly used "we" for two types of memories. There were the things that she and her identical twin did and the things that her and I did. I hope that Steve can adjust to your different meanings of "we."

  2. Memories are best enjoyed when they're shared memories.

    It's taken me a long time to regularly say, "I" instead of "we" when talking about past experiences.
    I have been seeing somebody for a while and although he's never commented on it, I think if the situation were reversed, I would prefer if he said "I" instead of "we'.
    When talking with friends who knew Dave, however, I'm still comfortable just saying "we".

  3. whether or not I use 'we' depends on the situation. For the first six months or so, while you are still getting used to the idea that your spouse is gone, it can feel very awkward to use 'we'. It took me a while to figure out when it was logical and when it wasn't. Now at four years out, I use it interchangeablly with 'I', and don't feel at all uncomfortable about choosing which to use. You just finally get comfortable with the situation, I think, at your own timetable. I can see how it would get more complicated when another partner comes onto the scene. I think you just have to roll with it as it happens.