I’ve lost my favorite bracelet: a green and grey one made of water-buffalo horn, a memento of my 2013 trip to Viet Nam. It went missing from the top shelf of the small upstairs tonsu where I thought I’d put it the night before. I didn’t panic, instead I got sad. I searched all the logical places, tried and failed to remember where I’d last seen it. I often have a second sense about lost objects; a confidence they will show up again. And frequently they do. Not this time. In my heart I believe my bracelet is gone baby gone. Like Stew and David.
I find myself rubbing my arm where my bracelet ought to be, the way I rub my “boyfriend” pillow and pretend it’s David. Perhaps I’m in denial, still the bracelet’s loss feels like just a blip on the radar screen of my life. Objects are symbolic. A month after Stew died my wedding ring vanished. I had lost so much weight the ring slipped off my finger and disappeared, never to return. I was devastated. Utterly bereft. Compared to that, I’ll miss my bracelet, but I’ve learned it is not David. It is not Stew. It is, after all, just an object.