The two cupboards referred to here are the literal cupboard in which Sarah hid her brother Michael to keep him safe and the metaphorical cupboard which is Julia's womb, where her baby was growing.
The two cupboards represent the ever-changing life situations and circumstances that one ought to be on the lookout for.
In Sarah's case, she chose to hide her brother in the cupboard which had in the past been a place of safety and security for them. She expected that the cupboard would offer the same security and safety for Michael upon her arrest. She did not foresee the misery that Michael would go through inside the cupboard. Having been in custody herself, she could not get Michael out of the hiding place, which turned from being a secure place to the place of Michael's death. Michael ended up dying trapped inside the one place that had initially offered security.
In Julia's case, the cupboard is her womb where her baby was growing. She got pregnant much later in life, specifically at the age of forty five years. Medically, this is a risky age for a woman to be pregnant. In addition to this, Bertrand, who is the father to Julia's baby, wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. This made the cupboard a place of uncertainty and insecurity for the baby. However, Julia's decision to keep the baby changed her womb to a safe haven for the baby who she ultimately named Sarah.
For both women, the transformation of the cupboard is significant in their lives. In Sarah's case, the transformation of the cupboard from a place of safety to Michael's death place was beyond her control. She was unable to get back to Michael in good time to save his life, which may have seemed as a betrayal of Michael's trust in her. The transformation of Julia's womb, which is termed as a cupboard, from a point of uncertainty and insecurity for her baby, was a conscious decision she made. She decided to keep the baby despite the fact that Bertrand was against it.
The situation of both women shows the need for women to be empowered and to be able to make decisions in the various aspects of their lives. Had Sarah been allowed to make a choice, her cupboard would have remained as a safe haven for Michael.