I am cooking in the kitchen and find myself singing, “I will, oh, I will not forget you. Nor will I ever let you go.” A Sarah McLachlan song from the early 90’s that I haven’t thought of in years.
I find the album I long-ago imported into iTunes and begin listening. Not really surprised that I can still sing every word by heart.
There was a time in my life when I thought my reality was best expressed by Sarah McLachlan lyrics. I wrote them down on tiny slips of paper. I collected them in lists. I planned which songs I’d play when I lost my virginity. I wrote a whole short story fantasy in which my self character and my secret love at the time played guitar and sang and Sarah McLachlan to each other.
Now, I find myself singing along to words that take on an entirely different meaning.
“When we wore a heart of stone”…” and I threw bitter tears at the ocean, but all that came back was the tide”… “the dreams we had, shattered and broken”…
I know, objectively, that these are romantic love songs. But, as I have found myself doing these past 29 months, I hear them as love songs for Joseph. The poetry of the break-up, the abandonment, the brokenheartedness—repurposed for my particular loss.
Even the album title, Solace, has taken on a different meaning. No longer a simple synonym for comfort, solace is that unattainable brightness, something not found in the fuzzy bathrobe I was supposed to be nursing him in; sought for but not found in the cushions of the glider that was supposed to be his.
Sometimes I think this change in perspective is merely adult. The difference between my teenaged self and me in my 30’s. Since then, I have traveled the world, had half a dozen jobs, gotten married, bought a house, become a mother.
Become a mother, and then been robbed of motherhood.
There is no going back. I cannot cross back over the divide of when my life snapped in two. I cannot see things as they were before Joseph; I cannot remove the death-colored lenses from my eyes.
Some days, I am able to hear a song for what it is. When I do not wonder about the singer, Did she lose a baby? Does she know what this love is, this loss?
Some days, I do not think of all of this. But that doesn't mean I forget.
Nor will I ever let you go.
In what unexpected places, in what unexpected ways, do you find loss? How has your loss(es) changed the way you see, hear, feel, taste, smell things?