Two days ago I lost something expensive which holds significant sentimental value. But in the end, it was/is still just a thing. I have searched everywhere repeatedly drivingly myself nearly mad, I’ve imagined seeing it in all sorts of odd places, but still no trace of it.
I was in possession of this thing for some years but except for when I first received it, I don’t recall being overjoyed or appreciative of having it. It belonged to me but didn’t serve a purpose other than being an expensive and beautiful possession. It didn’t keep me warm like a sweater or drive me to places as a car would. I had it but didn’t think much about it, it became routine and I didn’t really notice its value anymore. Not until it was gone and now all I think about is how miserable and incomplete I feel without this “thing” and how I must replace “it”.
A few months back I picked up my daughter from preschool and she had with her some art work including a triangle shaped piece of paper she had cut out. She was playing with it with the car window open when it slipped through her hand and flew out the window in the middle of a busy freeway. There was no way I could retrieve it but try reasoning with a four year-old. For what seemed to last hours I had to listen to her desperate cries. “come back triangle” she kept saying in between her sobs. “It just flew away”, “it is gone”, followed by more crying. It was heartbreaking to see those large tears covering her face and I found myself tearing up as I kept glancing in the rear view window. This was a lesson in loss and we were learning it together. She’ll get over it, I thought. Now months later, if I ask her about the triangle, she says “it flew out the window”. It is definitely not forgotten but recalling the incident is no longer painful. She has accepted the loss.
I wonder if I will accept the fact that I’ve lost my wedding ring … Time will tell.