Wendy Hubenthal MS, MA, LMHCA, CT, Bereavement Counselor
Joined HNW 3/2008

There is nothing that matters more to me than spending time with close family members and friends. If I had a bucket list, being with those who are dear to me would capture every place on that list. Although this has become more important the older I get, it all started in childhood.
I shared many wonderful hours with my grandmother when I was little. Together we explored her magical garden and read fairy tales written centuries earlier. At the end of every visit, she would hold me close in her soft arms and whisper, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant by those words. They were just the music of our farewell embrace.
Now, as a grandmother myself, I understand. I have come to know the flavor of poignant partings well. Many of my family members and friends have died. Many of those still living are far away. I spend a lot of time arranging flights and walking through airports, visiting as often as I can. There are many joyous reunions, hugs and laughs. There are many tender goodbyes.
It hurts to part, to walk away from a grandchild or an old friend. Yet the love goes with me, just as it did when I was a child. The sorrow is sweet. And there is more. These comings and goings remind me of the ephemeral nature of life itself, making me grateful for each breath, for each visit, for each beloved person.
My bucket is full to overflowing, but there is a tiny hole in it. Although the love can never be lost, life is short. Knowing that makes it all the sweeter.