It doesn't happen much anymore. In a way, that makes it worse: Something is seen on TV, something is read somewhere, a joke is heard, and I think, "I'll have to tell Mom about that."
What follows is even more terrible, as that minor blip in my brain is immediately followed by another, that says, "No, you can't. She's dead." Simple as that. No sobbing moment of remembrance, no flood of grief, just a calm, sober reminder.
That is, I guess, the way of the world. People die. We grieve, then move on. It's a process we all must endure in order to continue to make our way in the world. If we continued to mourn, if we spent every waking moment missing the people we loved, we'd never be able to function. We would spend all our lives in darkened rooms, weeping uncontrollably.
But sometimes that very process of moving on is itself the source of despair. For me, that usually comes a few moments later. "I have to tell Mom about that," "Oh, right, she's dead," followed by the realization that I had just casually dismissed the passing of one of the most important people in my life, as indifferently as if I'd noticed it was a rerun of a favorite show, or the computer was running slow, or the neighbor's dog was barking. I'd treated a major turning point in my life as a minor nuisance. How dare I? How dare I?
And then, at last, comes the flood of grief, and with it, the oddly comforting realization that I haven't moved on, and never will, that as long as I continue to grieve, her memory is still honored, and she still lives in my heart.