I used to get in a lot of trouble for losing shoes when I was little. Mom insisted that I put them on, and I ditched them as soon as she was out of sight. Sometimes I remembered where I put them. Sometimes I didn't. They usually showed up again eventually. Or not.
It's a lot like people. Sometimes I forget someone has died. I reach for the phone, sometimes even dialing, and then I realize that person isn't going to pick up the phone on the other end. Sometimes I think my missing people are in the same layer of reality as my missing shoes, existing in an afterlife with bad phone reception.
I think they're still out there though. The people for sure, and maybe the shoes too. When people die they go on a long voyage and forget to send postcards. Sometimes I see them in my dreams. People go on their journey, but they're still here too. I don't know the laws of physics in the afterlife; I just know what I know, or feel what I feel.
Sometimes I think a bit of an anonymous poem... "People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime"... or sometimes I think "We're born alone, we die alone". Depends on my general frame of mind.
It comes down to the fact that we have to make our own lives. Nobody else can do it for us. Sometimes we have people who help us on our personal journeys. Sometimes we get to have those people in our lives for a little bit or a lot, but it still comes down to our life, our problems.
We want to feel we're important, that our lives mean something. We want to feel that we're important to someone else, and maybe to a bigger reality, but it still comes down to the fact that nobody else can live our lives for us or tell us what is best for living our own destinies. The people who matter to us are gifts that make the journey worthwhile.
I can still remember the red canvas shoes I had that were splashed with river mud. They were missing for a week or two, and then all of a sudden, there they were on that flat slab of gray shale under the tall grasses. I often feel like my missing people are going to show up like that too. I just don't know which rock I left them on.
None of this was stuff I meant to write. It just came out, and I figure why not? Let it occupy electrons on the web. Let me spend some time thinking about the people I've loved and lost, and feel gratitude in their memories.