Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Death. A Memorial. A Personal Note.

You may know me as "the husband," or Brad, or you may not know me at all, but I am in fact Joanna's husband Brad and I'm hijacking Joanna's blogs for a moment (this is being cross-posted to both The Soap Bar and the Product Body Blog) to share something with you all:

The "death of someone close" she mentioned in these pages was her step-father, Harry, who has been with Joanna's mom (who raised her) since Joanna was only eight. Harry passed away on July 31st. His memorial service is today.

Over these days, I've watched Joanna cope with Harry's illness and death with incredible grace, and strength, and sensitivity. I've watched her put her own grief to the side in order to be there for her mom and others. I've watched her struggle and succeed at being a strong and steady mother to our children, even while she had to deal with the loss of a father. In short I've seen, as I have always seen in Joanna, the kind of person I hope my children grow into.

So consider this a different sort of obituary. One that honors the feelings of someone left behind, to give her a moment of attention, and love, and support.

Shortly after Harry died, Joanna said this to me:
"Harry was the only person in my life when I was growing up that I never felt judged by. No matter what I did, no matter what mistakes I made, he was always supportive."
THAT is no small fucking thing, people. And you, my beautiful and amazing wife, most certainly deserved it.

So Harry, if somehow you're reading this, thanks. Thanks for giving the woman I love, the woman I would do anything for, something so valuable and rare.


Katarina said...

Beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

such a gracious and beautifully written. i also lost my mother and father-in-law just months apart this year . my heartfelt sympathies to all of you. sharon

Anonymous said...

my dearest Brad. You have honored both my daughter and husband. I am so grateful you are in our lives. Jo and I both have had amazing husbands. Love, Di

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for Joanna's loss. What a wonderful man he was, and how lucky Jo was to have had him in her life (and vice versa, I'm sure). This is the first post of yours that made me cry.

dcyrill said...

Well written Brad. Joanna you are a lucky woman to have such a supportive husband. My condolences to you and your family.

Joanna said...

Thank you...

Karyn Baumgartner said...

Wow Brad...that was awesome....

Harry was indeed special and his gift for being non judgmental was, as you say, no small fucking thing. As Harry's niece, I was so fortunate to have experienced that kind of love and Harry will be missed every day.

I can assure you Brad that your children are already growing into the kind of people you hope them to be. Having spent time with you and your family throughout this sad journey I can say that you are all fortunate to have each other....that you and Joanna are wonderful parents with loving, cool kids of whom you should be so proud. In the midst of all this grief and loss...the fact that you and Joanna reached out to those around you with love and kindness and humor, helping everyone through thier sadness while still dealing with your own, well that is no small fucking thing, either, So I am grateful, everyday, not just to call you guys friends, but family. I love you both.