There will be no happy ending. Sidney has died. I knew she’d been ill, but I don’t think even she was aware just how unstable her health had become. I am shocked and saddened by her passing on October 22, 2012, just two short (and long) years since I met up with her and Greg for this story. Sid and I chatted on Facebook last week about connecting in California next month. She had a lot to share about the status of the hoard and her life with Greg. Much of the hoard was still there. And she and Greg were no longer together. Sidney had decided it was time to move on with her own life. The ‘project’ was never-ending. Sidney felt Greg had made his choice. And she made hers. I think Sid would be okay with my sharing one of her final posts to her blog. –hb
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2012
I quit hiding.
For months I had been hiding in our study watching our small TV, sleeping in our guest room, escaping to Tallyrand and Olive’s for support and companionship, burying myself in the Internet and crosswords.
Despite emails from friends on both sides of the fence (Greg’s friends and mine) to get the fuck out, sage advice from Tally-friends (“Quit doing fucking crosswords and DO something”), and advice from therapists and family, it felt easier to hide in the familiar.
Some of Mrs. M’s last words to me were, “Don’t let him bully you.”
Well, three weeks ago I moved out.
Greg seemed to have picked the hoard over me.
I picked the opposite.
Things are much quieter. Much less angry.
I still go to Tallyrand and Olive’s for camaraderie.
I’m renewing friendships that had grown stagnant from the conflict Greg and I drug around with us like an uncomfortable cloud, like Pigpen in Charlie Brown.
We made everything difficult and anxious. For everyone.
I am re-becoming fierce, independent, and healthy.
I encourage you to do the same; just a toe in the water is a good start.
Honor yourself, don’t hide.
It feels great.
I think it’s important to also share a comment Sid made in response to some of the comments to her posting…
Oh please, NO HATING on Greg… He and I even met up yesterday for a cordial meeting and it went okay. (NOT about reconciling.)
He is who he is and he was doing the very best he could in the situation.
I was holding onto the relationship too long…
Greg and Sidney’s story was always meant as a cautionary tale. After all, I’m a jaded (former) journalist. But despite the obvious obstacles and dysfunction, I was still rooting for them.
I kept in touch with Sid over the past two years and I like to think that we had become friends. I know she was looking forward to moving on with her own life. But she also felt a deep connection to the ‘Children of Hoarders’ community, always quick to share in whatever support she could give, and get. Her love and dedication to the cause – and to Greg – will forever be a part of her legacy.