Denial – The Artist’s Wife Reading by Albert Bartholomé

The Artist’s Wife Reading by Albert Bartholomé

He hadn’t been deceased for long, a couple of hours at most. She had been re-reading the same sentence over and over again, attempting to understand it before turning over to the next page. Unable to decide which book to select, she had inspected the covers: poetry, fiction, and biography, letting her subconscious choose the words which would help soothe her pain.

Alone in the comfort of her bedroom, alone for the first time in years, she felt despair. She didn’t know how to behave nor how to live in this household anymore. Her eyes conscientiously fell  on the words of the book she held tight with her pale fingers, her mind racing,  trying to make decisions. Would she make dinner ? Would she sleep in the same bed as usual? Would she bathe tonight? The thought of moving her legs and placing her feet on the floor to support her entire body was already plenty to consider. Her strength had vanished replaced by a dull yet throbbing exhaustion which controlled her body.

She wondered if she was denial about her husband’s death. Unaware of the time and days that went by, picking at  the leftovers from  the wake, she couldn’t bring herself to call a friend or open her diary to check today’s date. The phone. It had been ringing incessantly. Caught in her own world, half asleep most of the time, the sound had become a chime to her ears which she had learnt to ignore.

Although she barely understood what she was reading, she held onto the words, the reassuring letters which she had read in the past, and which brought up so many memories.