TITLE: Life in the Gray
GENRE: Adult - Women's Fiction
Charged with the death of her daughter, Alex tests the limits of love and forgiveness to save her marriage, and her life.
I couldn’t let her live the rest of her life in a cold, white ceramic pot.
It sat on the fireplace hearth. Seeing it always made my breath pause and my heart spasm.
Connotations of death; a reminder I should have been sitting beside her. It was hard to believe the contents once made up a giggling, spunky four-year-old girl. If I listened hard enough, I could still hear her feet pattering over the hardwood as she ran from room to room. I could hear her dad, too, laughing as he gave her pony rides down the hall in the evenings. The way he’d appraise her renderings of rainbows, even when they ended up on the walls. Some marriages crumble under the strain of raising children, but it made Braxton and I stronger, like we weren’t complete as two, we needed to be three. That was never clearer than in the months after she was gone.
Tell death do we part. We always assumed that death would be ours. Not hers.
Gathering a breath, I reached for the urn. It was heavier than I expected. Heavier than I remembered her being in my arms.
Was I forgetting? Already?
I clutched it to my chest as a wave of grief and guilt washed over me, threatening to knock it from my shaking hands.
No more regret. For her, I had to go through with this.
I opened the bag hanging over my shoulders and wedged the urn between the rolled sweaters on the bottom, careful not to let it tip over. Then I turned and left the house.