The Aftermath of a Life Ending
In loving memory of my step-daughter Kelly Marie Harrington

By Deb Kosmer
2010 Deb Kosmer; Oshkosh WI

KELLY, May 15, 2010: Empty House, Heavy Heart

Piece by piece, memory by memory, we emptied out all traces of you, leaving only a shell that once housed so much of your living. Now it is just empty walls, barren floors, and unused cupboards. I acted from my head, ignoring my heart, doing what had to be done. There was no time to let my heart get in the way. It was just a house; but it wasn't. It was your house. Dismantling it felt like we were dismantling you. I wondered if you were watching and if you were, what you were thinking, and if we were keeping the things you would want to be kept. I wondered why again, trying to swallow the unthinkable and knowing I had no other choice. As I drove away my heart came undone and the tears ran down my face.

Kelly's step-mom, Deb Kosmer

About the Author

Deb Kosmer


Hatley, Wisconsin

Deb Kosmer provides grief support to patients and families prior to death and to family members after the death, faci.itates grief-support groups, offers grief educational programs to the community, and collaborates with other agencies to do that.

Email: Read Deb's articles at Open to Hope