I know what he fears. It is because she was his only child, and he is getting older, her mother is getting older. It is because she did not do things in the usual way, did not make her mark in the usual way. She had no husband or children, and hadn’t yet figured out her professional path. It is because her life did not bear any resemblance to a final draft, but instead was an incomplete list of bullet-points. “Did you know she got her Master’s?” he queries in a tenuous voice. Wanting to tether her to reality. He doesn’t fear that she will be forgotten; he fears that she will have never existed.
I know what he fears, because I fear it too, for myself. There are parts of me, I realize, that only exist because she was here. And now she is gone, and there is no record. Huge sections of my past, anchored in reality by our shared experience, and now unverifiable. Fading from existence. Who will vouch for me when I am gone?
And so I write, so I will exist. So she will exist.
You are a part of me in big and small ways, forever.