1 min readMay 11, 2021


ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: The Writer, His Wife, and their Afterlife

Book One, Part Two, Chapter 43: Talk of Therapy

Bella, my neighbor down the hall who sometimes visits me, takes high offense at my kitchen floor. “It’s unsanitary. You’re blocked. You need to talk to a therapist. Maybe one session will help. Try it.”

Bella’s sister is a therapist. Bella’s been in therapy.

“How did the therapy help you?” I ask.

“It gave me clarity. I learned how to go forward with my life. Therapists can’t do it for you, but they help.”

On my walk to the park I run into another neighbor, Missy, whose attorney husband died a few months before Ernie died. “Was it hard for you to let go of his things?” I ask her.

“My husband moaned and groaned about all his clippings and notes. I threw them all away. They didn’t mean anything to me. Keep only what means something to you,” and Missy touches her heart.

“I have a hard time getting rid of anything. Even a grocery receipt.”

“I think you do because you’re having a hard time letting go of your husband. Therapy might help you. Maybe three or four sessions.”

Once, during an argument, Ernie said to me: “Maybe you’re the voice of sanity.” But a moment later, he said: “You’ve always been so negative. That’s been your problem. You’re the culprit here. It’s your problem. It always has been.”

Can someone help me?




My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 2-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.