Yesterday was a day of remembering for me. A day of thinking about what is gone from my life, and how it has impacted and shaped me over these last 5 years.
To me, my daughter will always be an ever-present memory in my mind. Unchanging and indelible.
A crisp white rose without blemish or fault. Lest you think I romanticized what my daughter was, I speak only of my memory, untarnished by the time that has passed.
I received a great deal of support from my dear friends at twitter. My partner was by my side. My parents called. My daughter was their first grandchild and in some ways my mother is more desperately hurt than I am, she has to balance the death of her granddaughter with her supposed loving god, where I do not.
But oh, the ache, the disappointment, and even the anger at those who should remember but don’t. Family members that once made calls or sent messages on that, the day of days for me, remembering her. Just including her in their thoughts as they go about their lives.
Family members that no longer do so.
They haven’t forgotten her, they’ve forgotten me. About what this does to me. Now, I haven’t had the closest of relationships with my family outside of my parents. I’m the cliché black sheep. The only (identified) atheist in the family. My extended family wasted little time in simply not being in contact with me. Forgotten invitations, Sudden stop to Christmas cards from an Aunt who was like clockwork. None of that concerns me that much, because if they cannot accept what I am, it’s their issue, not mine.
All it takes though, is deviation from their world and you are on the outside though. And all the things that go with it. That includes forgetting the death of their Niece/cousin whatever connection they have. Not through spite, but just ignorance.
But that isn’t what burns the most. My family is what it is. Relatively decent people (oh, who am I kidding, on side of my family is a bunch of awful bigots) for the most part.
what makes my eyes burn and my jaw set is the friends who know, the ones who were by side for years, and I by theirs, through thick and thin, who since a falling out have “forgotten” entirely.
The thing is, they don’t forget. They know. They sent me messages and tributes to my daughter every year. I stood with them at their weddings, Was there for them through thick and thin. But a falling out with them has allowed them to toss aside any need to remember, actively or passively. They have let it wither and die. There was some overtures of trying to resurrect our friendship from the ashes of the conflict, but it was soon forgotten, and never more keenly noticed than when this day went by, and I heard nothing from any of them.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect everyone to know, nor do I expect flowers or gifts or anything. But even when you are not in a good place with someone you care about, if you don’t reach out on their darkest days, there is something wrong with you, and the relationship is well and truly dead.
We all die, and eventually we become memories. Given enough time, most of us won’t be remembered at all, and that is OK.
But to forget her so quickly, to walk away from the commemoration, or at least acknowledgement, is an abandonment. when my parents die, I will be the only one left to remember her. And then when I go, there will be nobody.
I simply did not expect her to be forgotten this quickly.