Sunday, January 16, 2022

I looked up both the words “automaton” and “robot,” and decided that these days I am just like the former. I get up in the morning with a good deal of difficulty. I look around my empty room and do not even know why I should bother to get up. I finally, slowly remove the blankets, get out of bed and do the usual morning things one does prior to getting dressed. I go to my closet to choose my clothing and could not care less what I wear. I find that dresses these days take a good deal less effort than having to put on a skirt and a blouse, which would involve choosing which matches each other. I make one side of our bed, as one side has not been touched at all. It rattled my brain when my cleaning lady two weeks ago told me that she didn’t bother to wash the pillowcases on my Mordechai’s side of the bed, as there is no reason.

I go over to his dresser and open some drawers and just feel things, hoping that it will make me feel closer to him.

I have to remind myself that one usually has breakfast of some sort when they arise and I go into the kitchen. Most times I skip it as the idea of sitting at the table by myself is just too painful. The silence in the house is overwhelming. It is especially noticeable after I go out and return to the emptiness and stillness. Sometimes I talk out loud to my beloved, asking him how his day is and if he is OK. I have even told him that he should not have done this to me. In the letter I found from him after he passed, he mentioned how he wished that we could die together and knew that would most likely not happen. I have to believe that he got the better end of the deal. Otherwise I would worry about him even more than I do.

It is totally weird to me that I do not have to rush, do not have to program my day, do not have to prepare meals or even shop for groceries as my needs are so minimal. Each day passes with new realizations and no expectations.

Lighting a menorah by myself is something that I have never done before. I am fortunate that each night one of my children or grandchildren has been here with me as I lit. Everything is so strange. Making Havdala alone is another new experience that takes getting used to. It is especially true because my Mordechai had his very own minhag for making Havdala, as he lit some schnapps into a dish after he finished the last bracha and we sat and watched the flame burn and sang “Eliyahu” and other familiar niggunim. I am waiting to see if any of my grandchildren will take on their Zaidie’s minhag.

I am gratified by the fact that our children and grandchildren spent so many holidays with us that they are familiar with many of the minhagim that their Zaidie shared with them.

The days continue to go by, and I pray that Hashem will help me to figure out how to keep going in this cloud of sadness and loneliness.

Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected]

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