Even with a Broken Heart

My friend Kate became a widow three weeks ago. We just received a beautiful “thank you” note from her that truly allows us to see into her soul. She is one of those I like to call, “the lucky ones.” Her life centered around one man, one marriage, and one family conceived in love. Now that is a compliment in today’s society.

logoMany times during the last weeks of her husband’s life, I looked over at their home. I looked at the Red Sox plaque decorating the front door that we had entered many times. In the last hours of his life, the door was closed, perhaps to maintain privacy and dignity for her man. Perhaps it sheltered her from the world’s petty problems while she prepared to live a life without him by her side. Perhaps the security of their home allowed her to believe that safety remained in the walls of rooms that had already reconciled themselves to his absence.

In the last two months we have attended four funerals. The services, though different, all spoke about people, family and professions. I believe that what is really the most important thing to be remembered for is love. Simple, dynamic and important; to be remembered for love is truly the greatest compliment. Kate’s husband was and always will be and that is his legacy.

The video shown at his funeral depicted John and Kate over forty-six years of marriage. Hairstyles, clothing, body size, and smooth faces, eventually showing lines of age, all flashed before us. But what did not change, was the look of love and devotion on their faces. Each picture showed two people who really “liked each other.” Who hugged each other as they shared a moment in time now permanently imprinted on film. As tears rolled down the cheeks of the funeral guests, I think we all were a bit envious of a family that had it all until the end. Compliments to them for being model members of society.

Over the last few days, I have seen the door open, shut and then open again. I hope our family prayers are tiptoeing across the lawn between our homes… I hope they knock quietly and enter the house. Because God truly is here ready to quiet her pain, ready to hold her sadness and dry her tears.

Because… Kate is one of the lucky ones.

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

Comments (2)

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  1. Nancy Stevens says:

    What a beautifully written tribute to your friends. Tugged at my heart. I wish her the best.

  2. Kelly Rhodes says:

    Beautifully written. I will pray for your friend.