We don’t talk about him. Mentioning his name is almost taboo now. Especially around our mother. After the service she came home, she walked in, and just stood there. She stood frozen in place, looking at all the memories and reminders of him. Then, in a flurry, she took down every picture and put away every item that was connected to him. She put it all away in his room and locked the door. That door never opened again. Our mother’s way of coping is by removing him from sight and never mentioning him again. Dealing with the truth is just too painful for her to bear. Our father’s way of coping is by numbing the pain and shutting everything out. My brother, sister, and I have been holding on to each other, trying to survive the emotional chaos that is our family. A mother on the verge of breaking, a father holding himself back from rampage, and a name that must never be mentioned. So no, we don’t talk about him anymore.