Death in the Family

Death in the Family

After my husband’s parents passed away, I spent more time in their apartment than I had in a long while. I made numerous trips to the east coast for events that come at the close of life. Each time I made sure to remember details large and small about a home that was well lived-in for almost 60 years, accommodating a family with 5 children and various pets, but had been little altered over the years.

On my first visit back, I still felt my father-in-law’s essence as my fragile mother-in-law roamed around the empty apartment, coming to grips with being alone for the first time in her life. She passed away 6 months later, and with each consecutive visit, the apartment felt as if it too had died, becoming static and without energy.

On my last visit, the apartment, torn apart in preparation for painting, and ultimately a sale, was taking on a now incarnation. The tableaus of possessions long removed and the contents of the apartment becoming transient objects ready for a different life; I was profoundly moved by the passage of time and the idea of three lives coming to an end: My husband’s parents, and their home.

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