My study is a room with a view, full of light. Three big windows face south and one faces west, all looking over pastures and the remains of a dairy farm, with the mountains of Epsom as a backdrop. When Eric was alive, this was his favorite room, with the TV in the corner and his stylish Danish recliner positioned for a view out the windows or at the television screen. When Eric was dying this is where we put a bed for him to spend his last weeks. That was partly because of the television so he could watch Red Sox games or his favorite movies, but it was also because this was, essentially, his room.
It remained his room for years after he died. No one spent much time here during those years. A new, large, flat screen TV had been installed in the family room, part of the finished upstairs of the barn, and the “tower room” as we called it then, the second story of the tower we built to connect the upstairs of the house with the rooms over the barn, served as a passage between rooms, not as a place anyone hung out. There was still too much sorrow in the room, too much weighted memory.
Six years ago, when I first started to think about moving my study in to this room, my friend Marsie was over for a visit. I brought her upstairs to show her how I might change the room in to a study and she stood by the western window for a few moments. “There’s still a lot of Eric’s energy here, but Eric is getting ready for this to become your room,” she said. “Talk to him about it and the energy will clear.”
Even though I’m not sure what I believe about how the energy of loved ones who’ve died manifests in this world, Marsie’s advice made sense to me. I spent time in the tower room, thinking about Eric and all the changes in my life since he’d died. I let him know I was going to transform the room, and six months later I did.
Now I have a glorious study with a view of trees snapping in a brisk wind and a hillside of russet and ochre oaks. As I sit at my desk, I’m less than a foot from where Eric died. He sits here with me and I sit here by myself. I look out the windows and then look at the fall of sunlight in to the room. I’m grateful and warm and reminded not to take any moment of this day for granted. I’m here now.