REVIEW: “Watching You Without Me” by Todd Summar

Review of “Watching You Without Me”, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #36 Early Autumn pp. 25-31. Purchase here. Review by Ben Serna-Grey.

“Watching You Without Me” is a story about death, time, and life. The main character is a woman who is recently deceased, and she finds time is not linear because she keeps jumping around in her own timeline. She relives difficult tumultuous times. Her husband growing distant, her child growing without her.

It’s not the usual shtick of watching yourself from the outside, A Christmas Carol style. Our main character is reliving these vignettes in the moment, remembering she is incorporeal at increasingly more distressing times: when she can’t hold her child up to keep him from drowning when he’s learning to swim, when her husband gets called out to the hospital after she is late coming home. She begins to be pulled further and further away from these moments by some sort of unseen force, and the scenes get more heartbreaking as she is now looking at what has happened to the people in her life now that she is gone.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There is some actual closure and acceptance at the end, but it also doesn’t soften any blows. Like the previous story, “Evidence of a Storm,” there is necessarily some darkness here, a bleak make, but the theme that pushes through most is acceptance. She did what she could while she could, but now that she’s gone it’s time to let things go. This is another recommended read.