Nearly every night before going to sleep, Dee liked me to sing to her. The song she’d pick would depend on her mood or the occasion, if the day was special, or simply on the time of year. On the first day of fall, when the colors began to change, she’d always pick “Autumn Leaves.” More often than not, after I finished, she’d say, “Just one more song–this time you pick it.”
in loving memory,
Just One More Song is Herb Appleman’s account of coping with loss and grief following the death of his wife, Dee. It’s also the celebration of a marriage that was a love affair for forty-six years.
The book takes the form of a diary that Herb kept during his first fifteen months of widowhood and the entries are, for the most part, his conversations with Dee. These weren’t mystical experiences but, as Herb says, “as real as memory, imagination, and love are real.” They came about because he couldn’t sleep, even sleeping pills didn’t help, nothing did until one night when he remembered a scene from the movie, Sleepless in Seattle. In this scene, Tom Hanks plays a character who’s been recently widowed and is having trouble sleeping. Out of the blue, he imagines his dead wife sitting on the other end of the sofa, talking to him, and feels comforted. Herb thought he’d give it a try and imagined talking to Dee. It worked.
From then on, knowing he could talk to her at the end of the day gave him something to look forward to; and after they talked, he found it easier to sleep. Their conversations were triggered by things that happened on a particular day, but ranged, as conversations often do, over the whole of their lives.
Enhanced by personal photos and reproductions of Dee’s art work, Just One More Song is a book to treasure and tell your friends about, especially if they’re in mourning or if they still believe that romantic love can last a lifetime. And longer.