Saturday, March 19, 2016

#SOL16: Set to Rights

A Light at Night (Reilly, 2012)

I'm sitting in the living room. From the seat I can easily see into the family room. I can see the exact space where Rob had lain for last three weeks of his life. Yes, the hospital bed is gone and with it the hum and drone of the oxygen machine, but the image remains. The family, the friends, the business that defined the last few months are gone too.

Between the two windows, the oversized leather chair has been returned.  Now 18 votive candles line the mantle above the fireplace.  I cleared away the hospital detritus: gloves, diapers, alcohol wipes, discarded wrappers, a pile of folded washcloths, some body lotion. And although the room has been set to rights, nothing feels right. Everything feels wrong.


On Sunday there is the anticipation of snow on what will be the first day of spring and all I can think about is that this will be the first season without Rob and the list of firsts is unyielding. Usually about now, we are thinking about potential summer holidays and making tentative plans. Often, we are planning a brief stay somewhere during the week Dev is off in April.

How about a quick trip to Maine? Rob might ask, and so often that plan is seconded by Devon and before we know it reservations have been made, the car has been loaded and we are off off off.

Friends and neighbors hesitantly ask, How are you doing?

And truly I am so lost that I can't even fathom an appropriate answer and so I just lie.

I'm okay. 
I'm getting there. 
Doing what I must do.

What they can't know is that 'how are you doing' is just the wrong question to ask.  It assumes I am doing, acting, being.  And such action is so far beyond where I sit.

These days, the light hardly penetrates.
It's always cold.
And though I may have set the room to rights, my heart feels dead.


  1. If only anything else in this process were as easy as clearing a room. Oh Mary Anne.


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