Saunders quotes an account written by a White House guard. This guard notes that Lincoln has still not returned to the White House at two in the morning. The guard considers waking Mary Lincoln, but can’t bring himself to trouble her, since she’s in such an intense state of mourning. Plus, she’s under heavy sedation. Other accounts of Mary confirm this, saying that she collapsed into bed and accepted drugs to subdue her “cries of agony.”
Once again, Saunders provides brief representations of what’s happening in the world outside the Bardo. In doing so, he shows the bottomless depths of parental grief, as Mary Lincoln proves unable to even leave her bed.