Deborah A. Bowman facing the biggest challenge of my life, the loss of my beloved husband. The death of a loved one is so hard to accept, but God needs to call us all home at some point because He needs that person among His angels.

Sid by Adam Lowe, 2017
Sidney A. Sclar

“When one light goes out in this world, another more brilliant and pure light turns on in heaven, which is the person watching over you, guiding you from the heavens above.”

–A quote by Deborah A. Bowman

I wrote this line to a friend a number of years ago and have used it in all sincerity and truth more times than I would have liked to, to comfort grieving friends. Now it is my turn to read and listen to the full meaning of these words and hope they can bring me a few moments of comfort and peace.

On Monday, 4/9/2018, my husband, Sidney Sclar, was taken from this world and my life  in the timespan of less than a single heartbeat. He died very unexpectedly from a massive coronary. There had been no warning signs whatsoever.

We had been lying beside each other in bed during the early afternoon, holding hands. I must have a low-dose chemo injection every Monday, which I now give myself, for I will be taking it for the rest of my life. Sidney was recovering from a stomach flu and hadn’t eaten much for a couple of days. He was tired and just wanted to be near me, even though I’m a little grumpy after the shot from nausea.

He had just told me that he needed to rest so he could feel a little better to take me somewhere special for my 65th birthday, which was the next day, April 10, 2018.

He rose to go to the bathroom to take a shower. I heard a loud thump and received no answer when I called his name. I hurried as fast as I could, which is not a “run” by any means, but it was only a few steps. I suspected that he must have fallen.

I have been in a wheelchair for many months from a severe SLE and Rheumatoid Arthritis attack, combined with a new drug interaction, that occurred in late August 2017. I had just graduated to two very old-style crutches that clipped on my forearms, which I have kept for over 25 years, when I had my first knee replacement. They are like old friends to me, and I do not like a walker because it destroys my lower back when I have to bend forward to hold onto it. Besides, the crutches allow me to retain a little bit of that perfect posture that I was so known for many years ago.

He was sprawled across the bathtub with his face lying in a pool of blood, which was already dripping down the inside of the tub. He was trying to breathe, but only harsh gurgling sounds were erupting. I screamed his name and then told him I was going to call 9-1-1, but he was unresponsive. I don’t think he ever heard my voice.

On the 9-1-1 call the medical advisor told me I needed to start CPR immediately. I know how to do CPR, but he was face down with one arm draped across the tub and the other flung behind his head. My husband is a tall and big man; also, the bathroom is very narrow. Trying as hard as I could, there was no way I could get him flat on his back to do CPR. The advisor asked if there was anyone I could call or get assistance from because it had to be started immediately.

I ran as fast as I could with my crutches to my neighbor’s house and a lady visiting my neighbor from our block, who I don’t know very well, said her husband did CPR and she flew out of the house to get him. Their names are Posey and Mark.

As my next door neighbors Elaine and Mike, a couple in their mid-70s, were helping me to get back to Sidney in our home, we heard the sirens of the ambulance coming. It had been less than three minutes.

The EMT immediately went to assist him, all of us believing at first it was a head injury. Very soon, they realized that was not the case. They worked on him for 48 minutes in our bathroom. I found five large IV syringes which were left on the floor, trying to administer enough medicinal adrenaline to create a heartbeat so they could use a defibrillator. I learned these specific steps at a later time during the day.

They incubated him with a tube and were able to get him breathing through artificial means. With stern, worried faces, they told me they were taking him to the Washington Adventist Hospital, which was only 4-5 minutes away, probably even faster by ambulance.

As I had been lying in bed, I was not dressed in anything but a long kimono-like gown. My neighbor, Elaine, had wrapped me in a small blanket that lies across the back of my chair in the living room. It was very chilly on Monday. She talked to me about everything under the sun during those 48 minutes to distract me from the procedures being performed in the bathroom, which I could  not see from where I sat.

I was told to get dressed, bring his medications with me, and they took his Driver’s license as ID. The time was 2:48 p.m.

I arrived at the hospital at a few minutes before 3:00 p.m., having trouble finding a parking place. I gave my name and Sidney’s name at reception and at first was told he had not come into the ER. I told the guy behind the glass window that he must be there because the ambulance that brought him was already gone when I arrived. He called back to the ER and said my husband’s name, which is a little tricky to pronounce “Sclar” with a hard “c” like “SKLAR”, rhymes with “car”. He said into the phone, “Oh, that man … in room 18. Yes, I understand.”

He told me to take a seat and that someone would come to get me in a few minutes to go back and be with my husband. I found that hopeful because if I could sit with him while they waited for … test results, x-rays, whatever? … there was some hope.

About 30 seconds later, a young nurse came out dressed in scrubs and asked me who I was there to see. I again told her my husband’s name, and she looked at the floor. I held out the bag of medicines that was in my hand. She asked me what it was. I told her I had brought my husband’s medications, as instructed. When she didn’t reach to take them, I said, “Don’t you need these?” She answered, “Yes, I’ll take them,” which she did. Then she told me that she was going to take me to a private room where the doctor would come talk to me.

I knew; I knew, but I still hoped beyond hope. I prayed and whispered his name. It was a tiny room with a small settee, a chair, and a table upon which there was a box of tissues. Yes, I knew, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it even to myself. I had known since the moment I had seen him lying on the floor at 2:00 p.m.

The doctor, a young woman–I don’t even remember her name–and the same nurse stepped into the room and the doctor sat down beside me on the settee. She said, “I have some very bad news for you.” That was when I started to cry.

She told me that he had had a massive coronary and that he was actually dead before he ever hit the floor. She described it as his heart bursting inside his chest. She said there was nothing anyone could have done, even if it had happened at the hospital. She said he would not have been in any pain and had died instantly. There was no pulse when he arrived at the hospital. I would later find out there had been no pulse for the full 48 minutes when they worked on him at our home. They tried so hard to save him, and for that I am grateful.

She asked me if I wanted to see him and I told her, “Yes,” through my sobs. She said he was still incubated; did I want her to remove the tube, and I told her to please do so. She said the chaplain would be down to sit with me in just a couple of minutes. She sincerely expressed her deep sorrow for my loss.

Again, I don’t even remember the kind gentleman’s name. He was short, dignified, and Asian. He talked to me about my faith and religion. I told him I was Christian and my husband was born into the Jewish faith, even though he now believed in Jesus as our savior. I told him I had never made arrangements for anything like this before, and I didn’t know what to do. He excused himself and went and got me a pamphlet with names of different funeral homes of different faiths and some assistance phone numbers. He patiently explained to me what it was that I had to do.

He then escorted me back to see my husband. The chaplain allowed me all the time I wanted to be alone with Sidney.

Sid looked so peaceful. His hand was slightly cool, but his face felt as warm as if he was alive. I expected him to open his eyes and speak to me. I held his hand, ran my hands over the thick gray curls at the back of his head, and kissed him on the cheek, on his lips, and on the large gash that was all the way down the right side of his head. I talked to him for 20 minutes, telling him how much I loved him and that I knew that he loved me too. I said many things, but I really don’t know exactly what they were.

Another gentleman came in and kneeled down to talk to me since I was sitting in the bedside chair. He handed me some assistance phone numbers and was very gracious, but I was told that Sidney had to be removed from the hospital within 72 hours. I believe this to be standard operating procedure for all hospitals. They needed the bed, Room 18.

The young man asked if there was anyone he could call for me and if Sid and I lived alone to which I nodded assent. He noticed my crutches and said if there was any problem at all to call them and they would help me or extend the time limit, if necessary.

The chaplain returned and with a final kiss and a squeeze of Sidney’s hand, along with some choking sobs, the nice Asian gentleman walked me to my car. I told him he didn’t need to do that because I hadn’t been able to find a close handicapped parking space so it was a little bit of a walk, but he insisted. He was very sweet as he hugged me and together we said a prayer for Sidney, who was going home to God. Sidney A. Sclar had just turned 64 years old in February.

In August of 2006, Sidney had suffered a massive heart attack and had to be resuscitated. He had quintuple-bypass surgery. God was generous and loving enough to give Sidney and I twelve additional years of love and happiness.

On Thursday, 4/12/18, Sidney was buried at The Olde Adas Israel Cemetery near both of his parents’ graves at a beautiful and respectful Jewish graveside service. He was in a richly grained, unfinished pine wooden box, with a lovely carved, wood Star of David in the center of the top. I did not have to bring any clothes for him because he was wrapped in a white shroud, but the casket was closed and I did not wish to see him like that anyway. I had already said my goodbyes.

I had put the sad news of his unexpected passing on his facebook accounts on Tuesday, the 10th. The arrangements weren’t finalized until Wednesday afternoon because there had not been any plots available in this “Old” cemetery for many years. Yet, the Synagogue was somehow able to create a plot just slightly up a small knoll from his parents’ gravestones. I put the information about the service on facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., on Wednesday evening.

Sid was known as the Master Networker. There is a blog using that name, sidthemasternetworker.com, which I set up for him not too long ago. I was surprised that over 45 people showed up in the middle of the afternoon with only half a day’s notice. I have received hundreds of messages, comments, “likes” but many more hearts of love, and long, shocked, grieving emails as well as condolences and offers of support and help for myself, even from people whom I don’t know. In my devastation and grief, I am still so proud of the man I love.

I wish that I could now tell anyone who has read this blog all the way to the end that this is a dramatic, fictional short story, but unfortunately, that is not the case. I believe this is more of a catharsis for me than anything else, and I don’t expect people to read it until the end. But it is the story of a great man’s life that everyone loved and admired. My niece says, “That if you need anything, Uncle Sidney knows a guy, and if he doesn’t he knows a guy who knows a guy, etc.”

Below in bold are the words that I wrote which I had someone else at the service read because I could not say them:

“Sid was the love of my life as I know he felt the same for me. We were together for 17 years. We saw each other through many trials and illnesses, but we weathered every storm with love, respect, and kindness. His last words to me expressed his love and devotion for me and our life together, even though he did not know that death was hovering right outside our bedroom door; nor did I. I have lost my dearest friend, but I know he is at peace in heaven with his loving parents, looking down upon us with his ready smile and charming wit.

“I am a woman of very strong faith as was Sidney. Nothing made us happier than when we were working as a team to bring joy, peace, and good will to others–easing their pain with a loving, enthusiastic smile or embrace; giving them hope when life dealt them what they perceived as an insurmountable obstacle, and sharing our belief that miracles are not only possible, but abundant. This is how Sidney and I lived our life together.”

We would have been celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary on May 24th, 2018.

–Deborah A. Bowman Stevens “Sclar”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

82 thoughts on “Deborah A. Bowman facing the biggest challenge of my life, the loss of my beloved husband. The death of a loved one is so hard to accept, but God needs to call us all home at some point because He needs that person among His angels.

  1. I an so grieved at your loss Deborah…I couldn’t read this account till the end and tears sheath my eyes as I write this heart-felt message of comfort and peace to you. I wish and pray that God may grant you the strength to bear this loss. Whenever I think of death, my only wish is that the two loving partners should go together…Oh! I know such wishes are never fulfilled yet I want to be naive enough to keep wishing. In one of my dreams I did see my wish coming true and woke up suddenly to tell the story of our car diving down into valley! Love and hugs dear friend. I am there with your in spirit to share your grief.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Twinnie. I ‘liked’ this post only for the way your beautiful heart jumped off the page. It was a difficult read in more ways than one. I can say with authority that I know how you felt in those moments when you heard the thump of Sid falling, as I lived through that ordeal in January when I almost lost my own husband when he too fell in the bathroom and projectile vomitted blood from a varices that exploded near his portal vein. The paramedics administered what was necessary, wrapped in covered in blood and hastily took him to hospital. I stood in shock in my nightgown in the early morning, managed to call my sister, who came to take me to the hospital because I was in no shape to drive, so you are a champion!!!!!
    I was lucky my husband lived to tell. So my dear sister, I know what you went through, and I am so very sorry for the loss of the love of your life. You are a stoic champ through this tragedy and that you can still show gratitude.
    I think about you many times a day and always sending love and light to you, warrior woman!!!! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, my Twin. I really think we should stop this mirror image life-swap unless it’s going to be beautiful, happy stories. Yours had a beautiful ending. That makes me happy. Mine did not. So even though the jester will still emerge, the comedian in me is crying too. Sorry for the blow-by-blow playback. Yes, it must have been very difficult for you to read. I send my love and my heart to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many comedians harbor hurt in their hearts Deb. And this was only difficult to read because it’s a very sad story about a great loss for my sister Twinnie. <3xx

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  3. Dear Deborah,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I knew how to bring you comfort during such sad times. I think that remembering the good things you two have shared could ease your pain. Some people really never leave us… we live through and with them in a different, spiritual way. But they stay with us, anyway.
    Stay strong. I´ll keep you and yours in my thoughts, my friend. Sending love and good energies. ❤

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  4. My dearest sister, Deborah, I did make it through this post to the end. I felt like I owed it to you and Sidney. My heart aches for your loss. Please know I am here for you. I’m sending healing energy to you with the hope that it will ease your pain just a bit. Hugs and love. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Colleen, in recent days you have seen the good, bad, and the ugly of Deborah Bowman. And if you can still write such loving words, we most definitely have been sisters, close sisters, in a previous incarnation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Deborah so very sorry for the loss of your dear husband and soul mate. There are very few words that can express such a loss adequately. It must have c0me as a great shock to lose your husband in such a way. I wish the outcome had been different. Sending love and kind thoughts to you and your families. Xxx

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  6. There is no time table for grief and we take great comfort in knowing Sidney is home with the Lord in his true body. I am truly sorry to hear you lost Sidney and his earthly presence but he will always be a part of you and with you. A great blessing of everlasting love you shared and a greater blessing knowing he is safe in arms of our Heavenly Father. Blessings to you always, my dear 🤗❤️

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  7. Dear Deborah, I am sending my prayers to you. I am so sorry to read about Sidney’s death. I had to read until the end of your blog because I felt your sorrow and love for your husband through these words. Blessings and God’s love!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sending much love and hugs for you Deborah on the sad loss of Sidney, your soulmate. He will always be with you and you will remember the happy times…my first husband went the same way and it is a shock but there was no suffering which is a blessing for them….Bless you xx ❤

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  9. I am so sorry to read this painful post, Deborah. It is a most terrible thing to experience. My Father died in front of my Mother in a similar manner when I was a small baby and I have often thought, as an adult, what a dreadful thing that is. I am praying for you. I did read to the end of your post and your ending words are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Danny. It certainly wasn’t something I was prepared for, but then, how can anyone really prepare for the loss of a loved one? Even if I had known it was coming, I think the shock would have been just as deep. Thank you for your kind words. I know your faith is very strong and important to you. Deborah

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah, my thoughts and prayers are with you, as you grieve the loss of your husband. Your words at his service were beautiful. Take comfort in knowing you have an angel watching over you. I’m so very sorry. ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dorinda. I hope you are feeling well today. It’s cold and rainy here, but I’m taking some quiet time and a break from tearing the house apart looking for necessary financial papers. Take care of yourself and thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, he is with the angels.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh fellow Deborah, I’m struggling to see what I’m writing through the tears, your words convey so much love and strength, and yes, I read right through to the end though it was emotionally hard going. Love and many hugs to you, I’m so pleased you have a strong faith to support you, such a blessing at a time like this.
    Deborah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah. I’m afraid the shock is starting to wear off, and I don’t like the emotions I’m finding hiding beneath the surface, but it will pass or at least become bearable at some point. Writing it all out helped me very much. Even though it hurts, I don’t want to forget any moment, any detail because it’s all that I have left. Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My first words are OMG! When I started to read your story I had to reread the beginning sentence over again several times as I wasn’t sure what I was reading. All I kept seeing were the words, my husband. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. I couldn’t imagine this happening to me and then to find out that you wouldn’t be able to save him anyway. So sad that you have lost the love of your life in such a horrible way, but it was as if he knew something was about to happen as he asked to lay with you on the bed. To be able to hold your hand one last time before he left this world. I am so very sorry for your loss my dear dear friend Deborah. I hope that you have some family to help you around the house in this time of need. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Donna. I meant to contact you directly, but time just gotten away from me.. You knew Sid from afar. He proofread Help Me! for you and sent you some business advice on how to use that incredible story to help others. That is probably your most recognized and rewarded book. Sometimes it seems like a week just couldn’t have gone by already; but at other times it seems like it was just yesterday, and I’m reliving all the unbelievable moments all over again. Thank you so much for your kind words, and I know I can turn to you and we can write through the sadness and .turmoil … together.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear, dear Deborah, a very beautiful catharsis. I wish I’d done similarly when my husband passed. I truly know how you feel, and am so sorry for your loss. Even though we know our loved ones are watching over us from heaven, there is no substitute for their hugs, for which we pine. But when your grief lightens a bit, expect a dream visitation. For some reason, grief blocks them, so when you start to find joy again you will be open. Love and light to you.
    Andrea

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I am so sorry to hear this Deborah and wish for angels to guide you through your grief and this most difficult period in your life. Watch for signs – sometimes birds or electricity going on and off. A minutes after my sister died in hospital we were all sitting in a waiting room while the nurse prepared her so that we could visit her one last time. While we were sitting there the lights kept going off and on – only in the area where we were. I took it as a sign from my sister.
    I offer you my deepest sympathies. ❤

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  15. As you do so beautifully, you write your story and share your love straight from your heart. What a poignant tale of light and love- Heartfelt wishes to your sweet self- And blessings to Syd – and blessings to you on your new journey in life. your friend- Sandy

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Deborah, I read this to the end, and it wasn’t easy, as tears began to fall. When these events happen, words seem so trivial. But please know that I am sorry for your loss, and I truly understand being married to one’s “best friend.” I pray that God gives you the strength, comfort, and support needed for each new day during this difficult time. Sending much love, Lauren 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Deb, this is beautifully written, and the love shines through the shocking details, and the honesty will help people gain clarity and closure about what occurred. Thank you for writing this so bravely. It is important to have shared the story, both for yourself, and for those who love and care about you and Sid. As sad as it is, he gave you the gift of his full transition. He would not have wanted you to be burdened with taking care of him if he had survived and was not able to take care of himself. He loves you eternally, and it is clear that you are soulmates who cherished each other. I’m so glad that I was able to get to know you both were before this occurred… and as I feel the depth of the loss… I can feel that he is at peace and truly with us. You are living with the memory of true love, as many never have the opportunity to know love like this. He made such a positive impact on those who knew him, so we can only imagine the impact he has left within your heart. We love you Deb. We are blessed with knowing your loving light… amazing strength… unparalleled ability to write like no one else… and we are blessed with what we experience as your friend. We will miss Sid and will help you keep the memories of him alive within our hearts too. You have our full support. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh Deb, I was in tears reading this. Such a beautiful tribute to the heart and soul of your beloved. I’m so glad you’ve been blessed with many to comfort and assist you, including your dear Sidney helping from above. You will meet again. He will never leave your side. Love and hugs to you, sweet Sister 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have clicked like Deborah, as Debby says for the way you wrote this tribute to Sidney and to the love you shared. We all know that at some point one of us will leave the other behind and it is a burden that you have to bear. I am sure that you have loving family to share that with you and whilst we might not be there in person, we are in spirit. Thank you for sharing with such dignity and grace. love and hugs Sally ♥

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      1. Yes, at some point I do want to promote my work. Your suggestion of LinkedIn was ideal. At this point, however, I can’t earn any money anyway because I am on Disability. I am checking into my Social Security options, which will allow me to earn some income since Clasid, Inc. must be dissolved. It was under Sid’s name, of course, and he took care of all the taxes and legal issues. If I have to do a couple of jobs gratis, I won’t let down the authors who have grown to depend on me for many years to make their work as smooth and flowing as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. My heart goes out to you, Deborah! I wish I could do something to take your pain away. What I can do is pray for you that God will give you strength to handle this heartbreaking loss. I can’t imagine losing my other half but can feel your pain just thinking of losing my husband.
    Please accept my deepest condolences and this poem.
    You have lost a loved one so dear.
    He will always be in your heart forever near.
    He is surely now looking down from above
    Feeling the warmth of His love
    With God he now resides
    Sitting at His side
    May he Rest In Peace and be free of pain
    For where better to be than within Heaven’s reign.
    Love & prayers,
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I know what that’s like — the shock, being numb for months. Condonlence is a word and yet what words are there to provide solace?

    His with you now, your angel, watching over you in ways he never could on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Deborah,
    I write this through tears and a saddened heart. Sid was the master networker and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

    This was such a beautiful tribute and I can understand the importance and comfort this gave you in writing this.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you continue to feel God’s love and comfort and you grieve the loss of your husband, your friend, your love.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I have no idea how absolutely broken and empty you must be feeling. I do not know you nor do you know me, but I somehow came across your blog just 15 minutes ago and this is the second post that I read. I am so sad for you and your family and I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you how truly sorry I am for you. There are no words to say when you lose the love of your life. May you find strength and peace………

    Liked by 1 person

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