Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Spreading little mementoes

SATURDAY, August 21 – I’ve finally found the time to tackle the bookcase in my office.  All those weighty documents that have been lying there for months, looking smugly important. Until now I haven’t really had a chance to go through them in order to decide which ones need immediate attention and which can be relegated to a large box up in the attic.

Certain items are quickly moved to a spot beyond my field of vision: Jenn’s medical records, the criminal file, the correspondence with the crematorium, the insurance company, and the mortgage company from when Jennifer was still alive. All the condolences go straight to the attic and a folder with Jenn’s favorite recipes goes to the kitchen.

I hang her ballet slippers in the living room and on top of the bookshelves in the dining room I place the bottle of wine someone gave us on our wedding day (which we polished off one year later).

Her college diploma ends up in Eamonn’s bedroom. He’s thrilled and has already decided he’s also going to Swarthmore. Let this inspire him.  I put the photo of Jenn with the dog on Sander’s dresser. It’s a beautiful portrait.  It was also on her casket. The last few weeks I found it a bit distracting, the way her face stared back at us so intently. No doubt, Sander will appreciate it.

Quite to the contrary, I hear:  ‘I don’t want that photo in my room. It belongs downstairs, on the piano.’ He won’t budge an inch, so I do as he says.

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