In Crossroads of Twilight, Birgitte was drinking very heavily because she feared not only that she would never be with Gaidal again, but that she would forget him altogether:
Gaidal Cain was lost to Birgitte as surely as if he were dead, and on top of that, her memories of her past lives were fading. She remembered almost nothing clearly before the founding of the White Tower, and not all of that. Some nights, the fear that Gaidal would fade from her memory, too, that she would lose any remembrance of actually having known and loved him, left her unable to sleep until she drank as much brandy as she could hold.As if the possibility of forgetting Gaidal isn’t bad enough, Birgitte is/will be less of a source of information on the Age of Legends and the Shadow than she was. Not that Moghedien intended Birgitte to forget anything when she cruelly ripped Birgitte out of Tel’aran’rhiod as punishment for interfering in her plans:
- Crossroads of Twilight, Talk of Debts
Birgitte had not even known who Moghedien was, so long ago, in the Age of Legends, when she foiled Moghedien's finely wrought plan to lay Lews Therin by his heels. But Moghedien had known her. Only, Birgitte - Teadra, she had been then - had died before she could deal with her. Death was no punishment, no end, not when it meant living on here.This punishment was the fulfilment of a vow Moghedien made to Birgitte in the Age of Legends:
- The Fires of Heaven, Dreams of Galad
"Have you forgotten what Moghedien promised you when we followed Lews Therin? I saw her, Birgitte. She will know you here."…In the Age of Legends Moghedien somehow recognised Birgitte as an incarnated Hero of the Horn. Perhaps she learned the ‘feel’ of their souls from Tel’aran’rhiod, since she is so skilled there, and could recognise such a soul when in the flesh. It would be useful to be able to spot these influential souls when they are spun out into the main world. (If Moghedien could recognise a Hero by their dreams, she surely would have punished Birgitte by pulling her from her dream into Tel’aran’rhiod as the Shadow were wont to do; but she didn't). Moghedien could come to know all the Heroes in Tel'aran'riod since Heroes are only out of Tel’aran’rhiod for a human lifespan and then return. Since Moghedien had lived over 200 years when the Bore was drilled (The Shadow Rising, Into the Palace), plus the 100 years of the Collapse and the 10 years of the War of Power that followed, she lived long enough to have seen all the Heroes in Tel’aran’rhiod at one time or another.
"Birgitte, what did Moghedien promise you?"
"She knew what I was, even though I did not. How, I do not know." Birgitte glanced at Cain; he appeared absorbed in his sword, but she lowered her voice anyway. “She promised to make me weep alone for as long as the Wheel turns. She said it as a fact that simply had not happened yet.''
- The Shadow Rising, Need
Moghedien didn’t want to just kill Birgitte – for one thing she didn’t think death was sufficient punishment if it meant hanging out with other souls – especially Gaidal - in Tel’aran’rhiod. She knew what Gaidal meant to Birgitte and ripped her from Tel’aran’rhiod in an attempt to separate her from Gaidal forever:
“I am here as I am, and I remember. All is changed. Gaidal is out there, somewhere, an infant, or even a young boy. But even if I find him, what will he think of a woman more than old enough to be his mother?” She scrubbed angrily at her eyes, muttering, “I do not cry. I never cry. I remember that, the Light help me. I never cry.”and to continually regret that separation. What Moghedien achieved is something that happens to Birgitte’s soul occasionally although Birgitte is not aware of it (and Moghedien isn’t either):
Elayne got up on her knees beside the woman’s bed. “You will find him, Birgitte.” She kept her voice low. Nynaeve still seemed sound asleep-a small, rasping snore rose from her regularly-but she needed rest, not to confront this all over again now. “Somehow you will. And he will love you. I know he will.”
“Do you think that is what matters? I could stand him not loving me.” Her glistening eyes gave her the lie. “He will need me, Elayne, and I will not be there. He always has more courage than is good for him; I always must supply him with caution. Worse, he will wander, searching for me, not knowing what he is looking for, not knowing why he feels incomplete. We are always together, Elayne. Two halves of a whole.”
The tears welled up, flowing across her face. “Moghedien said she would make me cry forever, and she...“
Suddenly her features contorted; low ragged sobs came as if ripped from her throat.
- The Fires of Heaven, A New Name
This was Birgitte Silverbow, hero of a hundred legends?...Besides, those multitudes of images and auras flashed by too quickly for her [Min] to make out any clearly, but she was certain they indicated more adventures than a woman could have in one lifetime. Strangely, some were connected to an ugly man who was older than she, and others to an ugly man who was much younger, yet somehow Min knew they were the same man.Min saw that there are two strands to Birgitte’s lives – the regular one Birgitte is aware of, and another she is not where she is much older than Gaidal. Since what Min sees are pieces of the Pattern, and Birgitte is still linked to Gaidal, she is still a Hero. Thankfully, Moghedien failed to separate the two Heroes.
- Winter’s Heart, A Lily in Winter
Birgitte will endure much misery in being so much older than Gaidal, and therefore probably not his lover as she would normally expect and wish to be. She is conscious of what they would normally be to each other and feels incomplete without him since they are “two halves” and she cannot know if/when they will resume the ‘normal’ Pattern of their lives. As far as she knows, Moghedien succeeded in separating them forever.
This observation of Elayne’s:
Birgitte was happy playing with them [children], and a touch sad; she always liked playing with children, especially little boys, and she always felt that way when she did. Elayne knew it as well as she knew her own feelings.is foreshadowing of Birgitte playing mother to the child Gaidal and how she will feel about it. The feelings could be a carry-over from that other, not-remembered strand of her lives and at the least add a poignancy to Birgitte’s plight.
- Lord of Chaos, Prologue
Will Birgitte forget Gaidal like she fears? When she dies, she will probably return to Tel'aran'rhiod as per normal but won't remember being ripped out and the subsequent events, since she has no knowledge of this strand of her lives, as though it's not a natural state for her soul, but a predicament that happens occasionally.
In her current incarnation in the waking world, she may not forget him – especially if she meets up with Gaidal the child soon. That will only bring a new pain, however…