October 25: Slowing Down

The October Diary is a work of fiction being released serially during October 2015. A new installment is posted each day. Find posts you’ve missed here.

October 25th

A few weeks ago I had grand ideas that I would finally get my life organized just in time for it to end. After I died people would find a neat house, paperwork in order, no clutter.

That’s not happening.

Sure, I don’t want to leave a complete mess of things, but I’ve lost my grand ambitions. Realistically I’m likely to leave things much as I’ve always lived: not a neat freak but not chaotic either. Adequate. I’ve always been an adequate housekeeper, bill payer, and stuff doer.

That’s not a great legacy.

I’ve had an okay career, but I didn’t make much of an impact on the world. As a friend I’ve been loyal but distant. Since Brendan died I’ve dated some guys, but I never felt like a partner again.

My only real accomplishment is Annie, and she should get most of the credit for who she is. She’s who she is in spite of me.

I’ll miss seeing who she becomes after college. Will she have a grand career? Will she get married? Will she become a mom? What will she look like? What will her style be like? Who will her friends be?

I’ve never believed in the afterlife, but now I find myself wishing for one. It doesn’t seem fair not to see my daughter again just as it didn’t seem fair not to see my husband again. I would happily admit I was wrong about the spiritual world if it meant seeing them again.

I’ve had to accept that there are things that science can’t explain, like the existence of the Man with the Shadow Voice. Why wouldn’t I, then, be able to believe in souls and ghosts?

I guess because that would too be good to be true. I have an easier time believing in a nightmare than a dream.

What happens next? Read the next part of the story here.

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