I want to remember…

I want to remember…EVERYTHING. I don’t want to forget…ANYTHING.

Be it beautiful or painful.

Be it a big or a small moment.

Be it special or mundane.

My memories are all that I have left of you. All that connects me with you. I CANNOT AFFORD to forget. Because with every little bit that I forget, you disappear a little more. Fade away.

And yet, I will forget. I AM FORGETTING. Because I’m only human. And we forget. And that TERRIFIES me.

I am now the sole holder of some memories. Those memories that only you and I created together. All those shared moments that were ours and ours alone. Those things that we knew about each other and that only you and I knew. Those words that only we said to each other. The memories of what it felt like when we touched, kissed, caressed, held each other. The memories of how we looked at each other, into each other’s eyes.

I am now the sole holder of our story. Our beautiful story that we used to tell in two voices. Two voices knitting this story together. Echoing, reflecting, embellishing. People loved our story. Felt inspired by it. I feel that responsibility of being now the sole holder of our story. I should write it down. We always talked about writing our story. Writing a book about it. And parts of it exist in writing. But not everything. Once I’m gone, our story will be gone. Lost. I guess that is what happens.

I want to remember…EVERYTHING. I don’t want to forget…ANYTHING.

And yet, I will forget. I AM FORGETTING. Because I’m only human. And we forget. And that TERRIFIES me.

I remember the moment when I heard the recording of your voice on your cellphone for the first time after you died. I remember the shock I felt that already after only a few weeks your voice sounded different to me. In fact, I didn’t remember your voice. Your voice in my head sounded different from this recorded version of your voice. I remember how I called the phone again and again and again that day. Listening to your voice over and over and over. Until it began to sound familiar again. I remember how terrified I felt. What else would I forget if even after such a short time, my memory of your voice was fading? When I found brief videos of you, I felt relief. The blessings of technology. Here was something that I could replay as often as I wanted to. Against forgetting. Letting me see you move and speak. Hear your voice. The way you puckered your mouth. How you moved your hands when you explained something. How you sounded when you were joking around with Nik, or when you were annoyed at me filming. The way your body glided through the water in our P’town pool. The way you’d intersperse some German words into what you would say: Genau.

Then there are the horrific last weeks of our together-life. Those incredibly short three weeks from the Sunday of your diagnosis to the Sunday you died. Days and weeks that I will never forget. Branded in my mind, heart, and soul. I relived every moment of those weeks leading up to the date of your death. Literally relived them. Re-branding them into me. There is no way I will ever forget that. It’s become part of me.

I am glad I have so many photos of our together-life. That I am a photographer. I always knew that my memory is bad. You were the “whale”, the one who’d remember details of everything even after years. I always knew that I needed to document life so that I’d have something to trigger my memories. So my camera became our constant companion. Not just when we were traveling but also at home. Capturing the special moments, and also the mundane everyday moments of our together-life. I’m so glad I did. The photos – they help me against forgetting. I look at them and remember. I remember and I feel more connected with you. I’ve backed up my photos in multiple places. Because I can’t lose them. Ever. I printed them out. Created a photo book that I carry with me. Always. And when I look at the photos, I remember. You. Us.

I want to remember…EVERYTHING. I don’t want to forget…ANYTHING.

And yet, I will forget. And that terrifies me. Because I don’t want you to fade away. I want to hold on to you. Even if it is only through my memories.

I want to remember…EVERYTHING. I don’t want to forget…ANYTHING.

wen-and-freddie

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