Shortly after she passed, my dad told me he took Z out of his favorites in his contacts list on his phone. I did the same a couple of days later. Every time I opened my phone I saw her name with the big yellow star next to it. Up top, where it’s easy to call.
I couldn’t have that. That big yellow star with her name knocked the breath out of me. I have to look at her and her name on my own terms. When I can prepare myself.
My other mobile phone, the work phone, I used to call her just as often. Except on that model, instead of designating favorites, it complied the list for me. Frequent contacts. She was a frequent contact. I spent three weeks calling everyone I could from that phone so her name would fall of the list of frequent contacts.
She’s no longer a favorite. She’s not frequent anymore.
Years ago was the last time I actively took anyone out of my phone contacts. And when I did, the phone greeted me with the poignant question “Are you sure?”.
Yes. I was always sure. I’d broken a relationship of one sort or another for reasons here and there, and in the end I was always sure.
I’ve taken her off my favorites and frequents, but she’s still a contact. No one answers her phone. I’m not ready to delete her name. At the same time, it still takes my breath when I have to thumb through the list looking for someone else. I torture myself.
There is no harm or shame in removing her from my contacts. None at all. And probably it would be good for me. It is painful every-single-time I see her name on my phone and her unanswered texts. It’s there, just silently, staring back at me. She’s not going to answer her phone. She’s not going to answer her phone. I torture myself.
I could transfer our text history to a device and put it in a box in my closet. I can save those things to allow for the removal to happen without actually losing all of that digital history. There are answers for this sort of thing.
Are you sure you want to delete this contact? Are you sure? Are you really sure?
I don’t have it in me to answer yes. I can’t actively delete her. I’ve already lost her. I can’t delete her as well.
In the winter I’ll maybe get a new phone. I’ll passively make the change. She won’t be deleted, but she won’t be added either. The new phone won’t have a conversation history or pictures of the past couple of years together. The new phone won’t have the weight this one has. It won’t have the weight of any of my other phones.
I’ll tuck this phone away with the other phones I’ve moved past. The ones that hold my pictures of my late husband and what our family looked like then. I’ve done it before.
I’ve done this before. I don’t want to change phones anymore.