Ed and I were just sitting here, with Bess in our laps, thinking about Hudson. Bess lazily opened her mouth and absentmindedly licked the remote control, which was also sitting in my lap. After the appropriate scolding, Ed picked it up, put it up to his ear and said, “Hudson used to answer the remote.” And she did. And I had forgotten about it.
How many more things am I in danger of forgetting? I only got 17 months’ worth of memories, so I’m pretty desperate to hold on to all of them because I don’t get anymore. But I already find sometimes when I sit and try to think about things we used to do together, things she used to do, the memories seem to be starting to elude me. I can remember things like our rituals easily because we did them every day, in the exact same order. I saw them all the time in real life, so I can easily see them over and over in my mind’s eye. But I so fear losing these quirky little things. Like how Hudson would answer the remote. Or how when we were downstairs in the basement doing laundry together, she would climb in and out of her far-too-small-for-her-anymore bouncy seat to entertain herself. Or how one time she managed to put three pairs of my underwear over her head before I even realized she was into the clothes. Or how she used to pull all the cookbooks off of the bottom two shelves of the bookshelf in the kitchen and rifle through them like she was looking for the perfect recipe. Or how she loved to crawl into Bess’s bed even though she knew we didn’t like it (my plan had been to get her a bean bag chair soon, but I never got the chance).
In the week after she died, Ed and I made a long list of all the words Hudson could say when she died. I just went and looked at it and am already feeling so grateful that we made it. I’d already forgotten that she knew some of them. I can still remember how her little voice sounded saying them, but I am terrified that I will forget that, too. (I had 26 years with my mom—she died eight years ago, and many days, I struggle to remember how her voice sounded). Already I fear that the way my mind is recreating them doesn’t sound right.
Even worse, right now the memories I can most easily call to mind are the ones I most want to forget: the images of her in the four days between early Monday morning and late Thursday evening. These images are so awful (to me, at least) that I don’t even want to share them here, although I’ve dumped them onto paper elsewhere, in hopes that they might someday leave me.
So I told Jess today that what I really need is a pensieve (forgive me if you are not a Harry Potter fan). But I want it not just to siphon out and save all the memories that I want to keep, but also to siphon out all these terrible memories and let me be rid of them. If I could just get rid of them, maybe I would be sure to have enough room for all the good ones.