Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wide, Wide Heaven

I've just finished reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, at the recommendation of a friend. It's one of those books that's been buzzing in my ear since it was published, but I just never got myself out to pick it up, and it turned up on the shelf here at work, so I started it...

The friend who recommended it to me was asking me how I was in reference to Glenn's suicide in June. As she didn't know him, and wasn't even really around me during the period surrounding his death, I was a little startled, and very touched by her concern. Strangely, that made me apprehensive about reading it... Even though I knew the plotlines to be different in the novel versus my life, was the tender spot I have on my heart about to be ripped open for examination again?

Having finished the novel, I owe my friend a debt of gratitude. What she understood from our conversation was my hope that in whatever passes for an afterlife, Glenn knows how beloved he was, especially given the isolation he must have felt at the end of his life. Having that very idea explored so graciously in a work of fiction allowed me to think on it without pressing the bruise I have from his death.

I think about things like when I should erase his contact information from my cell phone. I know I'll never call that number again. My stomach twists when I see his name in the prompts for certain email distribution lists. Should I remove that byte from my hard drive? Is it an affront to his memory to do that? Rationally, I know it's not, but still, I can't bring myself to do it, and yet I think of him almost weekly, when I hear something, see something, even remember something I would like to share with him and can't. I attended a board meeting at my former prep school last week, and one of the speakers bore a heart-rending resemblance to him from a distance, and I stopped breathing for a moment, suffused with joy. When it deflated, I thought about leaving the room to gather myself up again. I didn't, but I said a little prayer to him.

I like the idea that from his heaven he can see us, to perhaps understand what we're doing and how we're all handling the loss of him, and maybe he can even see that we all love him and cherish him still -

Maybe he'll find a measure of the peace he was lacking during his time with us, and be able to go free into the wide wide heaven without us...

And if it took a work of fiction to make that notion seem less foolish and more heartening to me, I'm going to be glad. I'm going to believe it when I feel his humor brush up against me at odd moments. I'm going to tell his stories when they come up, and hope he smiles hearing the telling.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to say I miss you. And that you should check your email... KCM

10/12/06, 10:49 PM  
Blogger phoebe said...

When Christine died in college, I kept her on my Mischord email distribution list. It made me feel like I was still able to share my life with her - like somehow through the magic of cyberspace, my emails might actually reach her.

Sending you a big hug, MOMP...

10/12/06, 11:01 PM  

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