“Natalie is quickly slipping away.” I read this text on my phone as I sat in the boardroom at work, conducting a meeting with a department supervisor and several leads. As I attempted to talk, to continue directing a political discussion, tears welled in my eyes and my voice wavered. The others around the table appeared tense from my unsolicited emotional response. I tried to explain why.
Stating it makes it real.
Natalie died from cancer two years ago.
It happened at the same time that my husband and I attempted to sell our condo. In spite of the non-existent financial recovery for our real estate purchase, I didn’t want to live in a home where I could tell you exactly where the upstairs neighbor was standing at any given moment and I could smell when the downstairs neighbor’s weed-smoking boyfriend returned home. This wasn’t where I wanted to raise my 9-month old son.