Sometimes in life, a realization so startling occurs when you least expect it. Like when you are in the shower or when you are mid sentence talking about inane things. Sometimes it is triggered by memories. Today’s Writing 101 prompt at Daily post is about a three-part series. It asks you to talk about losses. Real, perceived, virtual and what that experience taught you. I mulled writing about my father. A loss I experience in subtle ways each day. Then I took a deep breath and read the prompt again.
It happens slowly. You make friends. You spend a lot of time. You discover many things in common. You overcompensate because you want to feel un-alone. You pretend not to notice when things are off. You keep making excuses for behavior you would not condone in yourself. Over time this idea of a person and the actual person become so different that it is hard to reconcile the actual and the image you have in your head. Then it happens. Something clicks and you realize it has all been just in your head.
You try to let go. But the memories keep you shackled. The sunk cost keeps you bound. You look back on the years and tell yourself it cannot be true. But the signs are glaring. You can ignore them no more. You analyse your interactions. It hits you in waves. When you least expect it. Like a picture in an album. Or a keepsake from a decade back. Or an email that comes up in a random search. Or a like on an FB post.
Then you mourn. Mourn the loss of that ideal you had in your head. The people you had on pedestals have not changed. You have. You berate yourself. You come up with hollow explanations for their behavior. Then you stop. You let the grief wash over you. Accept it never has been. And you live with the memories. Like you always have. Just that this time you know that person no longer exists in your head. Just a relic of the good times do.