The Wrong Door

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I awoke this morning to hear Gini falling down the steps.  We had been warned not to fall down the steps.  Kat’s brother had told us that the Meyers’ guest room was tricky, it was three steps above the hallway, and if you were sleepy you’d forget those steps existed.
He’d almost fallen down them a lot.
So when I heard Gini’s body hit the floor, I screamed, “Gini, are you okay?” and then, a second later, “Gini!” and I ran to the door, flung it open, knowing what I was going to find:
Gini, dead, at the bottom of the steps.  Neck broken.  Gone.
You don’t understand: I knew that.  Knew it with all my heart.  By the time I had my hand on the doorknob I was halfway to grief, steeling myself to hold the body of my wife, one more thing after everything that happened, trying to piece together the last words I would say to her…
….and that wasn’t that door.
I opened that door to find a different universe; Gini, gripping the table that she’d stumbled onto to save herself, fearful, too stunned to answer me.
She was all right.
She was all right.
I fear I woke up the entire house with my cry, and though it was only 7:30 and I was going to get up for work at 8:00 I stayed in bed with my wife – my alive wife – for an hour and change, trying to still my trembles, feeling like I had gotten very lucky in opening the right door.  I know she was gone, gone like Rebecca.  I know that when I touched that handle something shifted and here she was alive, and I was very grateful to be in the arms of this universe, where I had more time with her though I don’t know how much time I have with her, nobody does.
I know this is foolish.
I know that.
Yet I’ve spent the morning feeling certain that some point I have walked through the wrong door, some horrible door back in August, or maybe even May.  Some door where there was an alive Rebecca on the other side of it, a kid who was going to live to seven, seventeen, seventy, a door where I made some awful choice and stepped into this universe where she passed on in a room not thirty yards from me now.
And I feel this mad urge to walk back through the past year of my life, examining every door I opened, scrutinizing it for signs of what went wrong where, hoping that I might find the clue to get her back.

1 Comment

  1. Leslie
    Jun 20, 2014

    Hi Ferrett,
    I know how you feel, as I’ve been through what you describe above, too. I think it’s a normal part of grieving. After losing my niece, I became a little obsessive about something happening to my son or other people around me. I also, and you haven’t said this yet, felt a lot of guilt. I kept wondering why I felt so terrible, and was grieving so hard, even though she wasn’t my child. If this happens to you, it’s also normal.
    If I may offer advice, keep talking and writing about this. Also, make sure you take care of yourself. I’m a firm believer in things like massage therapy to help get the stress out.
    My heart hurts for all of you. The grieving and pain doesn’t stop with the end of Shiva.

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