I used to have a movie in my instant queue called “the loss of nameless things.” I never managed to watch it, but I like the title.
When you’ve lost an important person in your life, you don’t just lose one person. You lose a million things, a million un-nameable things.
You lose things in more than one way, on more than one plane, in more than one stream of time.
When your partner dies, you lose the intimate rhythm of life, the daily connection, the millions of small choices, small actions, small thoughts that make up a life. A daily life.
In an instant, the future evaporates. The present changes. All the nameless things stop.
You hadn’t “taken them for granted,” as so many clichés tout. You just lived. You lived the daily existence of love and relationship, the boring and the beautiful, the mundane and glorious.
And then – poof. All the known reference points simply disappear.
It’s not just daily life that is lost, or the future that’s changed. Out of order death, traumatic loss, erases whole swaths of things.
For me, I lost a lot of what made me, me. Those innumerable, un-nameable things that made me who I was, that made me the person Matt loved.
For a very long time, I lost, among other things, my ability to see life as good.
I lost my ability to imagine good things.
I didn’t imagine bad things, I just didn’t imagine. At all.
The loss of interest in imagining – I don’t think that loss can be fully named.
I don’t think we can ever detail, for anyone, the weight of what it means to lose your interest in imagining anything at all.
The full breadth and depth and context of what you’ve lost – there is just no way to catalog that. To acknowledge every piece that has flown off into the void.
The things you have lost may not have names anyone would recognize, but you know them.
All the life that was yours, all the you that you were, all the nameless things that disappeared.
I don’t know their names, but I know that they were.
Those nameless things were the entire world.