Writes Dr. George Reisman in a moving tribute to his wife Edith Packer:
Edith was born on October 27, 1924. At this point, I don’t think she can hold it against me for revealing her age. So when she died this last Sunday she was over 93 years old. I had always expected her, and ardently desired her, to live to be at least 105. The fact that she didn’t, has devastated me. For over 48 years her presence filled my life, and now it’s simply gone. I feel a great void.
As I’ve said, Edith’s passing has left a great void in me. And my knowledge and commitment to reality and rationality have only made it worse. I know that Edith no longer exists as any kind of actual being. All that physically remains of her is a small pile of ashes. She no longer has eyes and so she cannot see me. She no longer has ears and so she cannot hear me. There just is no longer any “she.” But nevertheless, I pretend that in some way, she still exists and that she can still see and hear me, and so I still talk to her every day. And when I’m alone, out of anyone else’s hearing, I talk to her out loud. So I now need Edith more than ever—as my psychotherapist, in addition to everything else. But you know what. Until just this last Sunday, I did talk to Edith out loud, in reality, practically every day, for almost half a century. And so it feels much more normal to go on talking to her, even if only in pretense, than to slam into the brick wall of the fact that she simply is no more. So what I think I’m doing is trying to tap the brakes gently, so to speak, and come to a smooth stop, if that’s possible. I don’t think that’s actually unreasonable. [“Obituary and Eulogy for My Wife Edith Packer“]
The entire tribute is worth a read.
Dr. Packers’ Lectures on Psychology: A Guide to Understanding Your Emotions include some invaluable articles on understanding your own psychology including: The Art of Introspection, Toward a Lasting Romantic Relationship and Happiness Skills.