One of the adjustments a widower has to make is getting used to living in a haunted house. It doesn’t take much to conjure up a familiar spirit: an un-dented pillow beside you in the morning; a closet full of empty hangers; the monthly arrival of House Beautiful magazine; a bathroom sink that’s no longer used; a handwritten note in the junk drawer; a smiling picture with eyes that follow you around the room.
In an unguarded moment the domestic can shimmer into the surreal. The sudden apparition produces tears, not terror. Closing your eyes only makes matters worse.
There are various coping strategies: buy a single bed, take down the pictures, sell the house. But I suspect these wouldn’t banish the phantom. Someone who has been flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone for two-thirds of my life won’t be so easily dissuaded. Nor would I want her to be.
Being haunted is the curse for not dying first.