After the funeral, I made arrangements for the bills to come to my office.

Every month, I paid her rent, her electric, even her phone.

At least once a day I would call her number and pretend she might answer it, hear her voice on the answering machine.

At first I left messages, but then I couldn’t.

I’d turned her apartment into a time capsule.

A shrine.

In September I got a letter that her lease was up.

Time to face it.

I needed to move on.

I stood at her door a long time, key poised in my hand.


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  1. James

    Wow. Portrait of someone who didn’t want to let go. I was thinking about my Mom. After Dad died, my brother, wife, and I made arrangements for Mom’s bills to be paid since Dad had previously handled all of that. For a moment, I thought this was a similar situation.

  2. Lynn Love

    That’s so moving, Josh. That inability to move on, that holding on to her things, imagining that she might still answer the phone. I get all that. It took me a while to get used to the idea that when the phone rang it wasn’t – couldn’t be my dad. It takes time for your world to readjust itself to fill the hole some people make. Beautiful writing

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