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She left her yellow bathrobe streaked across the bed. She left her hair clumped in the shower an auburn clot which he does not pull free, savoring instead the water pooling at his feet.

He drifts from family room to kitchen, from sink to stove to couch, not knowing where to settle, how to start. There are casseroles in the freezer, condolences in cards and eyes, his brother stopping by with groceries, yet still, he does not know.

His children help him find his moorings, even as their loss broadens his. In the mornings and at bedtime and in the pauses of their play, they seek out the blunt certainty of solid ground: "Who will buy us clothes?" "Who will help us learn to read?" "What will happen on her birthday?" "How long will she be dead?"

Story by:

Jennifer L Freed

11 September 2014