The Day After the Service – from Mike – August 13, 2014

I had meant to post again after Anne passed away but I guess I needed to think about what to say. Sometimes telling too much is not good for anyone. Melody Ossello advised me just to say that she passed peacefully and without pain. Now after a few days and the visitation and service, I have better perspective.

Anne had made the decision to go to the Hospice facility. She told Debbie Youngman that she didn’t want me to remember her dying in our house and that I was her caregiver rather than husband. She was thinking of me at the end. The hardest part, which again brought a boatload of tears again this morning, was the morning just before the EMT’s came to take Anne to Hospice. She had told me “white”, which meant she wanted a pain pill. She was down to one or two word sentences at this point. I put the straw to her lips to drink some water with the pill and she didn’t even have the strength or ability to suck the water through the straw. I stood there for at least three minutes, encouraging her to get some water I didn’t want to break down in front of her but I did. I then took a wash cloth and wet it trying to get some water to her lips and tongue.

She got to Hospice around 11, and she was gone by 2:45. We were warned to contact friends who would want to see her before it was too late. She just slipped away without a sound, before any could arrive. She didn’t appear to be in any pain at the time. I guess most of us would hope to go the same way.

In addition to Debbie, our music/visitation minister Lee Young was also at Hospice at the time. She and I were discussing plans for the funeral service and Anne’s instructions. A couple of times Anne groaned or made a sound; I joked that she must be vetoing an idea. I was asked about how many family members to expect at the church and for a meal. I have a small family that is vasty scattered. I really did not expect anyone to come. Boy was I wrong. Family came from Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville NC; Blairsville and Atlanta, GA; Omaha; and Nashville, included a sister and her husband whom I had not seen in 18 years, and a brother in law who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Several of my family members had never met each other. Long time friends traveled from KC, Charlotte and Dallas. I am blessed.

Our church and local friend families rallied around me and gave me unbelievable support. I have cried several times over this already, but former church members Chris & Carrie Barnette came back from Wilmington NC to sing in the choir. They said, “of course we would be here for you and Anne”, as if there was any question. I am blessed.

Visitation was long and tiring but it was also exhilarating. So many people came to pay their respect. Lee, Debi Jordan, and Sue Parrigin came to help arrange the various pictures and mementos of Anne’s life. A former co-worker of Anne’s came through the line sobbing. I don’t think he said a word. We hugged and he sobbed. Little Anne Ruth Moore brought a bouquet of flowers from her garden, and she sobbed in my arms. Old friends and co-workers, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, came by. I am blessed.

The service was glorious. The choir with Holly Vaughn standing in the back singing “We Are Not Alone”, one of our all-time favorite hymns. The moments of remembrance. Dr. Jay’s sermon. Lee’s masterful coordination. She didn’t pull up the couch for a fireside chat but she pulled out all the stops. My brother Ted said it was as if the entire service was orchestrated, each segment of the program flowing into the next. Julie Pride’s piano playing, able to maintain composure while losing one of her best friends. Tears from the choir. The church committee that provided a quiet delicious meal for family and framily, and time for us to get together and remember Anne before planes had to be caught or the car gassed for a long trip home. I am blessed.

The morning after Anne died, I eventually opened the Bowling Green Daily News to look for the partial, incomplete obituary that would tell us that Anne died and more details would be forthcoming. What I found instead was a wonderful article that somehow was written within hours of her passing. I was bawling as the phone rang. I couldn’t understand who was calling; It was a brother in law in Raleigh, telling me they were coming. I was crying so hard he had to tell me again who he was. The reporter, Alyssa Harvey, was a friend of Anne’s and she wrote a wonderful tribute. For those outside of BG who have not seen it, simply google the following words and you will find it. At the bottom of the article is a link to an interview the newspaper did with Anne in March. They feature someone every week. Google something like: Bowling Green Daily News Anne Grubbs Legacy” or any part thereof and you will find the article. After finishing this post, I finally opened Tuesday’s newspaper, and of course, there was an editorial about Anne on the day of the memorial service. You can find it with the same google search.

Someone on here asked how to memorialize Anne. The BG Kiwanis Club has a scholarship fund; and also when Anne retired, her employer set up the Anne Grubbs Community Education Scholarship Fund at WKU. The address is College Heights Foundation, WKU, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101-9977.

Thank you to everyone for reading this site and to those who have posted, and/or sent cards of support and sympathy. I will eventually read the posts on Facebook. Your love for Anne is so evident. We were blessed to know her..


By Chuck and Diana Neely — Aug 14, 2014 10:13am

The long lines at the Visitation, the filled church pews at the service, the articles in the paper and the long list of posts here all speak volumes of how Anne touched so many lives and how you are both loved by family and friends. Diana and I feel blessed to be part of your lives, to have so many happy memories of the times we shared with you both.
You are always – always – in our thoughts and prayers.

By Dawn Wesley — Aug 14, 2014 9:57am
The service sounds like it was absolutely beautiful. I am sorry I could not be there for it. Anne was a blessing to so many people! This reminds me of the passing of Ginny Miller a few years ago. I was fortunate to have been able to attend her funeral. Another great pillar in the community there in Bowling Green! Anne will be sorely missed. Her impact was great. Mike…I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

By Voletta Havener — Aug 13, 2014 7:49pm
the Daily News did a great job. Everything at the funeral home was beautifully arranged.
Anne impacted so many lives in a lot of ways! She will be greatly missed! Prayers!

By Doug Wilcox — Aug 13, 2014 6:11pm
Mike, You and I have never met but Anne was one of my closest friends in our youth. I really appreciate you keeping us updated and the nice retelling of the service. After I reconnected with Anne on Facebook I got to know you through her. I am continuing to keep you in my prayers. God bless you and give you comfort and strength.

By Beth Bishop — Aug 13, 2014 5:54pm
Mike, I hope you are smiling through your tears from all the love and caring that your family and friends exhibit in their posts. I am so sorry I couldn’t be with you during this time, but know we will stay in touch with happiness in our hearts that Anne was a loving part of our lives. All my best to you. Beth

By Debbie Robb — Aug 13, 2014 2:36pm
Mike, it was a beautiful service and Art and I were blessed to be able to share in this time to memorialize Anne. It is always touching to hear stories of those you love, how much they meant to others and what an impact they may have had on their lives. She will continue to live on in our hearts, reminding us how to love others as she did. Keeping you in our prayers.
Debbie Robb (a.k.a. “Lorie”) 🙂

terry caturano

Last Online Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm
By terry caturano — Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm
Mike, thank you for sharing this. It is easy to see why Anne loved you so much! You filled her life with love! So glad you were surprised how many family and framily came from everywhere to cry with you and to remember and celebrate Anne.

By terry caturano — Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm

Mike, thank you for sharing this. It is easy to see why Anne loved you so much! You filled her life with love! So glad you were surprised how many family and framily came from everywhere to cry with you and to remember and celebrate Anne.

By beverly siegrist — Aug 13, 2014 12:05pm

Mike, Thank you so much for sharing. I share with your a poem that I like and I think Anne would also.

The Bustle in a House By Emily Dickinson
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

By Donna Workman — Aug 13, 2014 11:37am
Mike I am thankful that I knew you and Anne and so very glad that family and friends lifted you up and held on tight as you move into this phase of life….in my thoughts and prayers.

By judy whitson — Aug 13, 2014 11:22am
Mike, over the past few weeks, as Anne became unable to post and you took over, I have come to understand just why she got that sweet smile whenever your name was mentioned! My thanks for sharing with us when I know it had to be very difficult and painful for you. Now I know Anne is smiling at the support and love that friends and family are showing to her “Mike!” God be with you.

By Jessica Warren — Aug 13, 2014 11:12am
Mike, It was a beautiful service- a perfect mixture of laughter and tears and you could completely feel Anne’s love and influence in every part. I feel so blessed to have been one of Anne’s many friends and I will always cherish our lunches and chats. She was an amazing woman. Hugs and prayers continue to you…

By Linda McCray — Aug 13, 2014 10:25am
Mike thanks for generously sharing with us over these past weeks. Yes- we were all lucky to have known Anne! My prayers will continue for you in the coming weeks and months. God Bless you and keep you.

By Floyda Sullivan — Aug 13, 2014 10:06am
Mike thanks so much for sharing this. I cried all day of the Service because I could not be there to say my goodbyes. I needed to hear about the service so thank you for posting. I am so glad to hear that so many of your friends are taking care of you. Let them continue to love you and to look out for you. We all need friends like that. If I can ever do anything for you I would hope you would let me know. We have a bedroom in Florida for you anytime you would like to come down.

By Lucena Davis — Aug 13, 2014 9:56am
Thank you so much for your updates. As the previous others have said, it was a beautiful service. I was in the back of the church and was also going down memory lane. The memory that keeps repeating is when Anne asked me to pick up the coffee from Starbucks for the Stand for Children proclamation held at City Hall. Anne knew that I don’t like coffee or the smell of it, but because Anne asked, I of course picked it up. Well, Brent was with me and we had it in the back of my SUV, and guess what? Yes, it spilled over the back of my car! I had the smell of coffee in my car for weeks! When I arrived at City Hall and we brought the coffee in, Anne thanked me and I informed her of what had happened, and she started laughing, along with me, and then was apologizing. So that was our running joke for any proclamation that I was not picking up any coffee! As you know, Brent is at Camp Leguene in North Carolina, and he had been texting me daily asking how Anne was and wanting updates (so again, thank you for your updates). He was very upset when he learned of Anne’s passing, he actually stated “it was tough” when he was at duty that night. He wished that he could have been here to say good-bye, but he says that he will have an angel watching over him when he goes to combat. Anne was a very good friend and was always thinking of others. I was truly honored having her as a friend. Thank you for sharing Anne with us. I continue to say prayers for you.

By Barbara Mason — Aug 13, 2014 8:59am
Thanks for sharing. B

By Rhonda Bartley — Aug 13, 2014 8:48am
The service was wonderful, and at great tribute. I found myself mentally going down my own memory lane, as the heartfelt words from friends were spoken and read about their blessings of being counted as one of Anne’s circle of framily. Blessed we were to know her, to love her and to be loved by her. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts throughout the day. I know the coming days will be difficult for you, and I wish you peace and comfort. Love you.

By Jennifer Hicklin — Aug 13, 2014 8:37am
We are blessed to know you both. Shoot, now you’ve made me cry. Love you.

By Heather Phillips — last edited Aug 13, 2014 8:32am
Thank you for all the updates, Mike. I’m sure it isn’t easy for you to sit down and write them. They give us closure and more than that, they give us peace. Somehow knowing a little bit of the details is comforting to us. Your positive attitude and gratitude is so touching; I’m so glad you’ve had so much support and love. God bless.

By Jean Secrest — Aug 13, 2014 8:31am

Mike, I continue to pray for you throughout the day. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that she is no longer with us. I still cannot stop the tears when I think of her. God bless you Mike! We love Anne so much and will continue to miss her.

By Mary Scantland — Aug 13, 2014 8:25am
We were indeed! Prayers are still surrounding you, Mike, and your family and friends as well.

By Amy DeCesare — Aug 13, 2014 8:15am
It was a beautiful service for a beautiful person. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you Mike!
Jim and Amy