And so the first day of my life without Sid in it begins. It has been 45 ½ years since he became part of my life on our first date in November of 1969. It is June, 2015. There are people in my house. Who is here? I tell myself that I’m okay because my sister, Arlene, flew in from Chicago, and my son, Joel, flew in from California. They are staying with me. They are watching over me. What are they saying? I don’t know. I’m tired. I need to lie down. Why am I so tired? I recall my Hospice counselor telling me that grief is exhausting; that it affects your whole being- mentally, physically, and emotionally; that I need to rest and sleep as much as my body wants. It is the body’s way of healing. Arlene keeps telling me to rest.
This is not real. Sid can’t be dead. He can’t be. That’s the only thought running through my head as I lie down and try to sleep. No, I can’t sleep. I have to write his eulogy. I’m good at that. I am the family eulogy writer. But it has to be just right for Sid. Special. It has to be as special as he was. It’s all I can do for him now. He deserves the best I can give him.
I get up. Joel and Arlene are talking. I am looking at them, but I don’t see. I listen to the words, but I am not hearing them; words come out of my mouth, but I am not talking.
Everything is foggy. I am in a fog. I cannot see through it; I cannot hear through it; I cannot be heard through it. I am walking around in circles. Why did I get up? Oh, the eulogy. I have to write the eulogy. I can’t do this. A voice in my head says, “You’re a smart cookie. You can do this.” It is Sid’s voice, encouraging me, as he always did in life. He always called me a “smart cookie”. He thought I could do anything. How lucky I was to have someone in my life who loved me, encouraged me, stood by my side, defended me. With him guiding me, I always felt that I could accomplish anything.
I sit down at the computer and I type. I hear Arlene say to Joel, “I can hear those keys going a mile a minute. She’s on a roll. She’ll do it.”
With the words I type, come the tears. They wash away the fog and the words start to flow. They seem to have a mind of their own. When I finish, and read what I have written, I realize that it is a testimonial to our love and the type of man capable of giving such love; a love so strong that it would survive death.
My task complete, I stand up and let the fog envelop me again. There is comfort in the fog. It cushions me from reality for awhile.