One of the things that I think I'm going to feel most deeply in the long term is the loss of the shared experience that Hillary and I had. That's not phrasing it quite right. Loss of the ability to share our experiences together.
We had challenges, struggles and stressful times in our relationship. We got through them all together. Shared experience is important and can forge bonds between people. Shared experience that you go through with another person is a step above that.
There are tons of experiences, snippets of memory, and events that happened where Hillary and I were the only people present. In the case of early child rearing, the only adults present, thus the only ones who would actually remember.
All in all, our kids were fairly easy during the infancy age. Isaac cried a lot, but it wasn't full blown colic or anything. Countless hours Hillary or I sat with him while he yelled. Cuddling, holding, quietly talking, or just being present with him. We could and did reflect on those times in later years. Now though, bringing up something like that is a story. It's not a shared memory anymore.
I find myself in the position where there are all sorts of things where I am the only person who was there. This kind of brings up an almost existential crisis sometimes. If I'm the only person who remembers a thing, was it real?
There are absolutely elements of Roy Batty's 'Tears in rain' monologue from Blade Runner in this. Our lives are the collections of memories and experiences we go through. At some point in all of our lives, that ends and those memories are lost.
That's okay. That is life. I think, at this point at least, that I will be able to face the loss of my memories when I die. I know Hillary was able to accept it.