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What I've learned.

Tomorrow marks the return to a "new reality" for our family.

After a couple of good days, I know everyone is apprehensive about what tomorrow will bring. I guess we'll just have to see.

This past week has taught me a lot...not the least of which was how many lives my brother-in-law had touched. Over 2,500 people waited in line, each for about 2 hours, to pay their respects to him at his wake. I was blown away...we were ALL blown away. At his funeral, the church held more people than it had ever held before...Christmas mass and Easter Sunday included.

Our priest was even amazed.

I also learned, probably most importantly, just what an amazing family I married into. Just how wonderful they all are, how strong they all are, how faithful they all are. As I spent this week "disconnected", I realized I was more connected than I had ever my family.

I learned that the things that matter most in life are those that can't have a value placed on them. It's not about the fancy cars or the elaborate houses or the newest fashions.

No, it's about the relationships we have with our children and spouses, the ways we connect with people, our friendships, trying to make a positive impact on our youth. THOSE are the things that matter most in life.

Verd, while an amazing man, was just like you and me. I learned that even I, and YOU, can be that amazing, too, if we try.

I learned that my faith is deeper and stronger than I thought. I had once believed, that if tragedy struck, I would be angry at God...and I am not. At all. I am comforted knowing that Verd is resting with Him in Heaven...and watching us all down here, shaking his head at us for "making a big deal" about him.

It's very hard to lose someone in a tragic accident. All the "what-if's" that go through your head...but I've learned that it doesn't change things. That I can't change things.

I've also learned that a grieving family can only eat so much lunch meat. Note to self: Bring lasagna. ;)

Whenever I've been on the "other side" of death, I've always been so nervous about what do say. I won't be nervous anymore...and I've learned what to say. Tell a story, tell people how you knew the one that passed away. I know people mean well, but whenever I heard, "I'm sorry for your loss", I wanted to say, "Verd is not my 'loss'. He is my brother-in-law."

What I really wanted to hear was, "I'm so sorry to hear about Verd's death." Or, "Your brother-in-law was a great guy." I took a lot of comfort in hearing his name or his relationship to me.

I've learned that my husband is even more amazing that I knew. Like in so many other ways, we tended to be each other's yin and yang...just when he would crumble, I would be the strong one...when I felt my strength dissolve, he was my rock.

Not surprisingly, this last week has left me fearful. I'm normally a bit paranoid, but I am even more so now.

I want you all to know that I am amazed and incredibly grateful for your prayers, words of comfort and encouragement, and all the virtual hugs...I read each and every comment, tweet, and email, and you all lifted me up. Thank you!

And now, I must rest my weary head...for tomorrow will bring a week's worth of laundry and housekeeping with it!


  1. Still keeping you guys in my prayers! Stay strong!

  2. Continuing to pray for you and your family....always remember, "Do not fear tomorrow, God is already there".....

    Take Care.

  3. I had no idea you and your family were going through this lady... I'm so sorry to hear this. Saying prayers for you and Verd...

  4. Oh i'm so heart broken for you, his darling wife & 7 children, with the schock from an accidental death, oh it's too awful. I have always thought "who really says i'm sorry for your loss" was it just on police shows?? I could never imagine saying that to anyone, it's insincere but also, death is so awkward for most people. Thank you for providing some insight into what immediate family would prefer, find more meaningful & appreciate in such a sad time. Thinking of you, love Posie

  5. What a great testimony to your brother-in-law. xoxoxo

  6. Death is so hard when it's a loved one. Sympathy to you and your family.

  7. It is odd all the emotions a family death brings, isn't it? My dad passed away a year ago. I handled most of the funeral arrangements - I was the closest child to my mom - the others were 4 hours and further away. So, I was the first "on the scene." It was a big responsibility, but oddly a big privilege, too. It was an odd week, because all of us siblings (there's 5 of us) stayed at the house with my mom for a week. It was like being a kid again. We planned the funeral and went through my dad's things. It was oddly a time of good memories. We cried together - but we laughed a lot more than we cried. Grief is a funny thing. And death makes you keenly aware of how important love is, doesn't it? It makes you treasure life. Just, don't let that wear off...don't forget...write it down, and read it...over and over

  8. So glad to know I am not the only one who finds "sorry for your loss" totally inadequate and inappropriate. Thanks for sharing such a difficult part of real life with us.

  9. Still praying, how is his wife doing, would it encourage his family if we sent cards

  10. Such a positive perspective, you're a strong amazing woman.

  11. This just hits home for me because he has 7 children.... I find myself really looking at my husband in a whole new light. Thanks for sharing this hard part of your life! My prayers are with you all!

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family this week! What a wonderful post. Thanks for letting us know what is the right thing to say regarding someone's loss! I was never sure!

  13. As awful as tragedy is, it brings forth a beautiful sort of spiritual breath when someone so special has left us to be in Heaven. God's peace with you all as you stumble through the weeks, months and years it will take to heal the hurt in your hearts!

  14. The wake and funeral were amazing, M! Verd touched so many people's lives! You and your family are in my prayers every day. Take care.


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