When Your Mind Forgets Something Your Heart Never Will

October 23, 2020

I’m busy and distracted while on the phone. My children are rambunctious, as always, and finding endless ways to create sound and chaos. I’m multitasking, though not well, when my husband starts talking to me, unaware that I’m on the phone. I continue my busy work, and without thought, say “Just a second. I’m talking to mom.”

Immediately upon releasing the words, I’m stunned. 

I’m not talking to my mother. I couldn’t possibly be. She’s dead. Yet, somehow my mind and mouth allowed the words to slip out and enter the ears of those around me. Before I can comprehend my complete lack of reality, I’m broken. 

The phone drops.

The tears fall.

The confusion overwhelms me.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that.”

I am suddenly more than just confused, I’m angry. How could I say such a thing? How could I possibly make a statement that hasn’t been true in years. 

It has been a long time since I’ve been on the phone with my mother. Yet somehow the familiarity of a pastime occurance found itself exchanged through unrealistic comments and words. Phrases that came out without thought and immediately sting.

Confusion. Disbelief. Embarrassment. Shock. Anger. 

And finally, grief. 

The only thing worse than momentarily forgetting that my mother is gone, is the blast of reality that reminds you, once again, that she’s gone forever. The debilitating reminder that there will be no more calls, no new messages, no more hearing her voice say my name or her soft “I love you.”

My mother was intricately woven into every aspect of my life for decades and while my heart never forgets her absence, sometimes my brain does. Sometimes my mind gets so caught up in the simplicity of tradition that it forgets I no longer hold the opportunities that were once so mundane and underappreciated. 

Sometimes your mind forgets the things your heart never will. That’s grief. 

A heart that never forgets, with a mind that sometimes does. 

A heart that never forgets, with a mind that tries to.

It’s a complicated mixture of reality and wishes. A heart that holds a forever absence with a mind that holds relentless hope. 

Sometimes your mind forgets the things your heart never will, and that my friends, is grief. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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