Initial Reader Mail in Response to
Barbara's Articles for Widows and Others
Who Have Lost, or Are About to Lose
Someone They Love Very Much

"Barbara, that was one of the most moving pieces of writing I've read in a long, long time. I'm so sorry to hear about Harry—I could tell from your past emails what your relationship was like. He would no doubt be proud of what you are doing now. The pain will begin to recede but the fond memories will only strengthen. So many widows, and widowers for that matter, seem to struggle so hard to get their lives back in order and some never do. Though I am sure you have been pained and feel the struggle too, you have (in characteristic Barbara Brabec fashion), taken hold of this challenge and are dealing with it rather than letting it deal with you". - Gil Gordon,

"I have just read your tribute to Harry. I love your writing. It’s authentic, real, touching, conversational, and heartfelt. What an incredible blessing that the Lord took Harry home so peacefully. I loved what your sister said about his heart ‘going from prestissimo to a peaceful adagio ending.’ I, too, am married to a musician, and many of the things you said about Harry reminded me of my Brian. God wires musicians with special gifts and I think also gives them a special outlook on life. It’s obvious that Harry was one of God’s special ones and that his life blessed so many people." - Ruth Gordon Howard, and (Brian’s site)

"Great to hear from you in such a cheerful tone. But don’t shortcut the grieving process. Just let it happen. There will be moments of happiness and sudden surprises of sadness triggered by whatever. This will go on for a long time. It is part of the healing. Let it happen in due course. As a dear friend of mine said to me recently, ‘God doesn't waste anything’ – a great thought to meditate on." - Bob Cline

"Please keep sharing your life and your feelings with us. You may not realize it, but to those of us who read your words, you have given each of us a wonderful gift. I still have my husband, but I have had some very close calls in the past few years, starting with his bypass surgery and other serious complications in the following years. I never realized how much he meant to me until I almost lost him. And reading your words brought it all back to me. I am not a writer, but I kept a journal during that period of my life when life seemed out of control, and there are many tears on those pages, both literally and figuratively. Somehow, with prayer (and "Letting God"), and that journal, I made it through those very painful days. I strongly encourage those around me going through difficult periods in their lives to WRITE! It is very therapeutic, more than we can ever know at the time. Please keep writing." - Sue Pike Sawyer, a former Hospice nurse

"What a beautiful Bulletin! I was hoping you would send one out soon, and it was all I have come to expect from you and your wonderful writing. You sound so ‘together.’ I know there will continue to be moments of such sorrow and loss, but you have done incredibly well, Barbara. And what is more, you are helping all of Harry's friends to come to terms with their loss." - Ruth Edwards

"Your latest report is amazing. As I read through it, the tears just cascaded softly down my face, not in sadness but because your words touched my heart. Your tribute to Harry is beautiful. I am so glad that you are up to writing again. Although I have not suffered the loss of a mate, I have lost many family members. I do believe that we never ‘get over’ our losses but instead learn how to live with them." - Faith Varrone

"The way you're using your writing at this time is wonderful. It's helping me in ways you (of course) have no way of knowing. And I can tell it's helping you." - Patricia Banker,

"I didn't know Harry personally, but I felt as though I knew him through you, and I sense how much you miss him. While your writing may be providing an outlet for your feelings, just as importantly, you’re providing incredible information and support for others and I’m sure that’s why you are sharing it. None of us can know what this is like until we go through it ourselves, but I can feel the importance of your words and I admire the wonderful way you express them. I’m sure that Harry is saying ‘Atta Girl!’ - Cindy Groom Harry

"Your article was very helpful to me. I didn't lose a husband but have lost both parents, so your advice is also good for that. Thanks for writing and God Bless you." - Linda Dallas

"Just read your beautiful article. What a wonderful way to remember Harry. Your comment about the big hole in our heart and how you are stuffing it full of all the happy memories is priceless. Every hurting person should have this quote in front of them at all times. On May 5th, it will be eleven years since my Ken left for Heaven, and every day I still talk to him and often, about him, to others. Our loved ones live on in our hearts as well as in eternity. Thank you for reminding your readers to get their voices on tape. We have a video made about a year before Ken died, along with a delightful tape recording of the surprise roast for his 50th birthday. (He had survived a major heart attack on his 49th birthday and we were so grateful.) His laughter throughout the tape is such a heart warmer. The video was made by a couple of friends while on a trip. After he died, the first thing I bought was a camcorder so I could get everyone else in my family on tape. Little did I realize how timely that was! Now, thanks to your reminder, I'm going to get them updated onto a CD." - Joanne Hill, author of Rainbow Remedies for Life’s Stormy Times,

"You're a true inspiration to everyone and you definitely sent a lot of good ideas about preserving memories of your loved ones. Thanks so much for the idea about taping conversations—we always think of doing that for older folks, but it should be done for everyone we love." - Tari Hann,

"Although both my husband and I are only in our early 50s, I treasure your encouraging words about planning ahead for when one of us will be alone." - Sandy Dell,

"I'm writing this with tears flowing down my cheeks. Thank you for your last two very personal reflections on the life of your husband. They have been very touching. My husband and I serve in Afghanistan. We started a craft exporting business for widows a year ago. I have used your book and e-mail newsletters as we have begun building the foundation for the ladies' livelihood. If you feel led, please know that you have an open invitation to come over here and advise us during this beginning stage. We wouldn't be able to pay as we are all volunteers, but it would definitely be a trip of a lifetime! My mother recently came on her own (she is in her late 50s) and we have a widow in her 70s coming from our organization next month. We will be thinking of you during this time of transition, with prayers." Brian and Cameron

"I love it . . . I just love it!!! It is so interesting to read your articles . . . like a GOOD book that you cannot put down. Harry was a one-of-a-kind kinda guy! Not many of those around anymore." - Pam Ash

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