My daughter got us to watch a teen romantic comedy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was much better than I’d expected, and I actually recommend it if you like such things.
There’s a really touching scene where the female lead talks about what it’s like to have lost her mom years ago, and it was pretty much perfectly accurate.
You go on like normal, and then when you’re doing something pretty routine, you start to think about your family, and then you realize you’ve almost forgotten there was ever a different way. And then you feel horrible for moving on, or you get a rush of grief that is every bit as powerful as it was before.
For a few years now, I’ve been visiting my mom’s grave in Clearlake at least twice a year. Sometimes it’s a few moments of sadness, but some visits, it’s dissolving into tears and missing her all over again, and also feeling awful because I can’t remember what her voice sounded like.
It’s the same with my father, my grandparents, and an old friend who died in my twenties. I go on with my life, and every once in a while, I remember there used to be a person where now there’s only a memory. It get easier with time, but it never quite goes away.