“That’s the last of it,” I announced to the now-empty room. I was putting all of her stuff into temporary storage, though the room and I both knew it would stay there until the day I died- perhaps even longer.
Temporary can be a very long time.
I ran my finger along the windowsill, absurdly pleased to see that there was no dust. Yet. It would surely need dusting in the weeks to come, when I would rip down the border wallpaper, rip out all of the shelving, and repaint the walls from a beautiful soft baby pink to a boring, stark white. Like starting new. A clean slate.
My husband had told me we could hire someone to do the renovations; nay, he’d actually told me that we could keep the room as is until I was ready to face it. When he saw the set of my jaw, how determined I was to move past this time in our lives as quickly as possible, he had offered to hire someone to come in and do everything. I’d refused, insisting that this would be therapeutic. Cleansing.
I’d seen the look in his eyes; the pain and most of all, the confusion- he knew that he would never be able to understand the magnitude of my own pain, but he didn’t know how to handle it, either. The hesitation; I’d known what words were to come next, and had placed my fingertips gently over his lips and shaken my head.
I believe that my impracticality was confusing and scaring him most.
I was the practical one.
It was practical to leave the room as is until further notice; just shut the door on the nursery beyond and the pain within. It was practical, because reason dictated that we would eventually- perhaps even soon- need a nursery, regardless of what had just happened. It was practical, because surely we would try again to get pregnant and the cost for putting all of her stuff- her barely used, really, never been used- into temporary storage, of ripping all the shelving down and repainting was no small thing. Added to me missing work to do these things; well, it was downright impractical.
In the doorway, I turned to look at the room once more. The soft pink didn’t soothe me; instead it rattled me. My breath caught and I sank to my knees, sobbing.
“It didn’t have to end this way,” I whispered. “It didn’t.”
Abruptly, I stood, brushed off my knees, and wiped the last of the tears away. I shut the door behind me, and walked away from the source of my greatest pain.
originally written & posted February 23, 2006