Place: Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Milborough, Ontario, Canada. Date: 28 August 2021.
[We find John, Michael, Liz and April putting flowers on a grave marker.]
Michael: It's hard to believe it's been five years since Mom passed on. I thought she'd be here for years and years...
John: It was simply her time.
Michael: Was it, Dad? I look back at the past and I can't but remember that she did a lot more than we ever gave her credit for; I feel kinda bad that we didn't do more for her when she was alive.
This vision, this nightmare fantasy in which she will only praised for her years of hard work long after she's died leads her on like a pillar of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire during the night. We all know the causes and they're all in Elly's head. The first, of course, is that she is sick with the fear that she doesn't really matter, that her life has no impact and that all she does is play a minor supporting role in the lives of people who have an important part to play in the human drama. As she sees it, she has no identity of her own as it seems to her that she's not so much an individual as she is a female adjunct of a male of some sort. This not-really-hidden self-loathing has a sidekick: her preference of The-world-that-might-have-been to the World-that-is; she's never really happy with all the desirable things in her life because that which she thinks should be hers means more. A third concern is that she can't rest or take time off lest chaos befall the world due to her laziness; this means that enforced idleness is the sheerest cruelty possible to inflict on her. Since she doesn't want to admit that she has to do endless hours of futile busywork just to feel minimally useful, John doesn't know what Elly does all day. As I've said before, what she thought was a slam at her for being lazy was his comparing how long it would take his mother to clean a house their size and figuring out that she could have tidied up at least three of them per diem; her claims of overwork don't thus make sense unless the tired joke he makes of dusting the attic every day is more than hyperbole. We also need to contend with her very real need to not look weak by telling people what's really bothering her and its twin, the belief that they already know. Finally, there's her warped perception of risk. My guess as to why she never considered getting a lock to the gate is that it was better that April be exposed to harm than to have random strangers think that she was some loon hunkered down in her bunker. This constellation of hang-ups seem to have the revenge effect of making what seems like a unrealistic fantasy of martyrdom at the hands of the clueless a near certainty. In the real world, Mike would have stated that if she was upset with her lot in life, he would have known.