There aren’t many things that are permanent or forever. Concepts like forever or infinity are things that we can speak of but really as limited creatures these notions are things we don’t fully understand. Death falls into the forever category and that’s one of the reasons why coping with the loss of someone that you care about is very difficult. When my father died three years ago, I was able to avoid some of the chatter in my brain about forever because my mother was still alive and now more than ever she was going to need my help and depend on me. There was no need for me to worry about forever because my father lived on in my mother. Many of the things that I was used to seeing were still in her home and most of my family memories over the years had to do with both of them. Over the last three years my dad’s death probably didn’t get as much attention from me as I ought to have given it because somehow that part of my life, my parents and all that they represented were still present. Now that my mother has been gone for a few days I am struck with the heavy sense of forever. All that was their lives together and as my parents for all those years is gone. There is little or no “stuff” left and there is no family home of any kind that I can feel any relationship with. My mother living longer than my father allowed me to ignore forever and focus rather on the tasks at hand. Buying her groceries and sundries, doing her banking and spending time with her were things that allowed me to stay connected to my past. Sure my dad was gone but almost everything else was still in place and so in some ways my dad was still there too. I can no longer fool myself that forever has not come to call. There is no longer a familiar place to go. There are no familiar things to do for either of them and there is nothing but what was. I am still not really able to comprehend forever but I am very aware that it is more than a word and much more than a concept that I could easily speak of. Now, maybe for the first time I understand that forever is a feeling.