This article first appeared on the Hope for Widows Foundation. Hopeforwidows.org
My side of the bed
BY DANIELLE THOMPSON
For all the years we were together, I always slept on the right side of the bed. Jerry and I would joke around sometimes and say, “Hey, let’s switch sides tonight and see how we sleep” It would last about 20 minutes until one of us would say, “ok, I need to be on my side of the bed. We loved lying in bed together. It was were we decompressed from the day together. We would talk about our day, things going on with the kids and at school. We would coordinate appointments and decide on weekend plans, or binge watch Game of Thrones. Our door was always open. The boys could come in and chat with us, watch TV with us, etc. Sometimes we would all hang out in the bed together. Our bed has held so many memories. It was where we had our “Pillow Talk” Ha Ha! Its not what you think…..This was the time that Jerry would put down his phone and I would get all of his attention so we could just talk. Lots of times we would laugh our asses off and sometimes get into deep conversations about life.
When Jerry was sick our bed changed. He was in the bed most days and if he wasn’t laying down he would sit on the edge of the bed with his feet on a footstool. I would take his temp, blood pressure, O2 levels, administer meds, and his favorite was scratching his back. A bad liver makes you itchy…he was SO itchy. He was always thankful for the time that I would spend scratching his back. After his diagnosis Jerry was very depressed. We had a lot of windows in our room, so I moved our bed around to face the wall of windows, I brightened up the room and told him that this would be a place of happy and healing. Not of sadness. The boys got to spend a little bit of time in room. I remember one of the last times that him and Tyler spent time together was in the bed watching some comedy central. I asked him to make some time for Tyler to come in there and it just be the two of them.
It is hard to sleep in the bed when its empty. The night that Jerry died I came home from the hospital and slept in my bed for the first time after 9 days in the hospital, and for the first time as a widow. I slept on the LEFT side of the bed. His side. I have slept on that side of the bed ever since. It is as if it is where I always have been. I have never been back to MY side of the bed in over a year and I don’t think I ever will. It’s funny how his side is now mine.
These moments happen a lot. When I am washing my face, and I think about him coming in the bathroom to brush his teeth on his side of the sink. Or when we sit down to dinner and I see the empty seat and think of him sitting in it. His spot on the couch is now mine too.
My life has always moved very fast, I have done so much since Jerry died and the pace of my life is not slowing down. I still like to take the moments to remember his seat at the table, his spot on the couch, or his side of the bed.