If You Stay Hidden, I Won’t Let Them Spray

Jennifer Estes
4 min readNov 2, 2021
Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

Luna and I moved into my mom's basement. It's a lovely two-bedroom, partially finished basement. We came here for a year to save money and to mourn.

Luna hates it; she misses home. Home to Luna is the house in Draper, Tom's house. Even though I lived there since 2010, it never quite felt like home to me. Tom owned the house for years before he and I met in 2008. And after Tom passed away, it really didn't feel like home.

A year ago in October, the trailer house we bought in Phoenix was more like home for me; we bought it together, even though I am now selling it. I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert and love the Phoenix area. I will probably end up back there. Yet, it also isn't home without Tom.

I will use what I have left from Tom's life insurance and the proceeds from selling the Phoenix house as a down payment on something once I am in a better place emotionally.

I am so thankful Tom and I had a plan in place in case of his death. He was a procrastinator, he hated making decisions, and he left many things undone. But he made so many decisions in the last 12 months that I now realize were his way of taking care of me.

He was not the best communicator either, but we had multiple conversations about his house in Draper. He knew I didn’t want it, and he knew I was so thankful I could walk away from it. I only wish Luna felt the same way.

In the meantime, here we are.

My brother went all out trying to make this basement comfortable for us, with some new carpet, wood paneling on the unfinished walls, and some nice wood laminate in the entryway. It's still partially unfinished; the bathroom has a concrete floor. There are cobwebs in the corners. And a giant, ugly-ass spider came strolling across the carpet as I played with Luna when we first moved in.

I screamed, jumped up, hoping that Luna would catch it. Instead, she watched it. She followed it as it ran for its life across the beautiful new carpet. Realizing my opportunity was almost lost, I yanked my slipper off and slammed it down. The spider got away, and Luna ran for her life, thinking I was about to hit her. I have NEVER hit her, so not sure where that reaction came from. She is a weird, scared, socially awkward cat…

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Jennifer Estes

I am a widow, a mortician, a mom, and grandma. I write about grief, caregiving, substance use disorder, and the death care industry.