One Troubling Thing

Aside from the war, only one thing troubles me greatly about my previous life: I don’t clearly remember anyone.

It’s as though the faces of other people I knew are sort of airbrushed out.  Only my mother, Jane Harris, seems to stand out (I remember her having a fair complexion and strawberry-blond hair and being actually prettier than I’d expected).

I remember one other face clearly, but I don’t know who he was.  He was the soldier whose face was lit up by that shell that exploded overhead.  His face was the last thing I saw.

And because my memories of people are so hazy, I have no idea who I loved.

I know it’s possible I married around 1910, but I’d be lying if I said I remembered.

And of the woman I courted around the ruined abbey in Shrewsbury, I have only a vague sense that she was there with me, no clear images of that at all.  It may have been an affair or she may have been my wife.

I don’t remember anyone I trained or served with in the KSLI.  I don’t remember the names or faces of any of the other soldiers or officers I encountered.

It’s very distressing.  Of all the things reincarnation could make possible, I think the reunion with loved ones is the most desirable.  But I don’t remember enough about my loved ones in that life, and my loved ones in this life don’t remember anything at all of their own past lives.

So far as I can tell, we might be cast into this world a total stranger again and again.  That may not be the case but without something to compel me to believe otherwise, I have to be skeptical of the romantic notion that true love will never die… although I can’t tell you what a relief it would be to find out it were true.

To be fair, my memories seem biased away from people in that life.  I seem to remember more about things and places for some reason.  It’s as if the part of my memory that dealt with people became so badly damaged that it no longer worked… or maybe it’s still buried along with the memory of what happened at Ypres beyond the Menin Gate.

With things so uncertain, I’m starting to think it might be a good idea for my partner and I to try to think of ways we can leave clues for ourselves in our next lives in the hope of finding each other.  There’s no way I think I’m going to find out in this life.


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