By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Friends and customers at Beyond the Blue Box were left reeling when Sid Chatwood died suddenly in January at the age of 32.
On Sunday, June 25, the Cobourg store will close in his honour to host a celebration of his life.
Executive Director Jane Hawthorne recalled the sudden shock everyone felt hearing the news last winter. They closed the store as soon as they heard, then kept it closed two more day out of respect, bringing in grief counsellors for Sid’s coworkers when they reopened.
“An amazing human being, that’s what he was,” Hawthorne said.
At the time, Sid was working as head cashier – though, as coworker Ariel DeJong recalled, he basically dealt with everything when he wasn’t required at check-out, from answering phone calls to pricing items.
She called Sid “a really good friend to all,” who especially loved his four-footed friends and kept dog treats handy for when they would visit.
Hawthorne announced plans at the time or a gathering of Sid’s friends in the spring, and is glad to see that come to pass. In the meantime, they were extremely touched when one of Sid’s favourite customers (and their dog) came in one day with a cactus plant as a sort of memorial to him, complete with a picture and a note.
“They were literally crying when they brought it in,” DeJong said.
They kept it on display at the front counter, and were shocked one day to find it missing. Whoever took it left the picture and note behind, DeJong said, and Quinn’s Florist (located just next door) sent over a lovely cactus plant to take its place.
You can see it Sunday, when the store will be closed to host the gathering.
Hawthorne says doors will be open to anyone who wants to join in the celebration and share special memories of Sid.
One of her own favourites is from last Christmas, when she was in her upstairs office doing payroll paperwork. Hearing a noise outside, she looked down and found Sid giving an imitation of the little boy under Ebeneezer Scrooge’s window on Christmas morning, saying he needed tuppence for a fat hen.
Beyond the Blue Box is located at 14 Covert St., and the gathering runs from 1 to 4 p.m.