top of page
  • Writer's pictureEllen Krohne


Yesterday, we buried my Aunt Clara.  The last of my dad’s siblings.  She was 94 years old.  And she was ready.


Aunt Clara was a beautiful person.  She had the most engaging smile, her translucent blue eyes twinkled when she laughed, and her hair was the perfect white as she aged.  She was beautiful inside, too. 

Her life was not easy.  Her father died when she was five, and her mother struggled mightily to survive on the farm with her 6 children just outside of St. Libory.  Most of Aunt Clara’s memories growing up were of hard work.



She had many happy years with her husband, Jim.  Most happy for her was having her only child at 40, “Her gift from God, as she described her daughter, Nancy. 


Jim died of a heart attack in their home in 1982.  She was just 53 and left alone to raise Nancy.  She described her grief to me as, “the most difficult thing I had to do in my life, get through my grief, so I could be a good parent to Nancy.” 


But she did get through those hardships in her life.  She chose to be a happy, positive person.  Her “motto” to live a happy life was, “Make the best of what God has given you each day.”  She was such an example for me of a strong, courageous, faith-filled woman.


Aunt Clara was 94 in August this year, in generally good health. Congestive heart failure and swelling were with her now, so she didn’t get around great, but she was still at the last family birthday party for my brother, Gary’s 70th in October.


At my last visit with her, she said, “I have gone everywhere I wanted to go, Ellen.  I had years to volunteer and had lots of fun doing that.  I had lots of friends, who are all now gone.  All of my siblings are, too.  I am ready to go home.  I am praying to go home.”


The home she was praying for was heaven, to meet her heavenly Father.  She was at peace, ready to go. 


When the priest gave the homily at her funeral services a few weeks later, he said she had told him the same thing, “I am ready to go to Jesus, ready to go home.”  He was amazed at her peace, her strength, her belief, knowing at the end of her life, that she had prepared and was ready to go home. 


I admired my Aunt Clara in her life.  I now admire her in her death.  I hope when my time is near, I can have that clear vision of peace and be ready, too.  It gives those left to mourn her a wonderful inheritance, knowing she was ready and now is joyful.  As she was in life.


Dear readers, my wish and challenge for you is to help those in your life who are mourning to be at peace, to glimpse for their loved ones what Aunt Clara was able to see.

If you or someone you love is grieving and struggling with the journey, help is available.  Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay.  If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email

Proceeds from the sale of my books are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center, a program of Family Hospice of Belleville, IL.

Be blessed,


“We Grow Stronger Together”






1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Real Spirit of Christmas

There is a Facebook post that pops into my feed every couple of days now.  It is a Christmas post.  Not the cheery, “Happy Holidays” or cute kid with Santa post.  It’s one that reminds us that Christm


bottom of page