Coping with Grief
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Carol was born on June 7, 1935, in Covington, Kentucky to Freida and George Bens. Carol’s childhood was spent growing up in Kentucky with her six siblings, Lorraine Mann, Paul Bens, George Bens, Bob Bens, Dave Bens, and Donald Bens.
In 1955, Carol married (the love of her life), Robert Wehrman. Carol and Robert lived in several places throughout their 69 years of marriage, where Carol chose to stay at home and raise their seven children.
Carol enjoyed the simple things in life whether it be watching the hummingbirds eat out of the feeder, or shopping with her daughters. All Carol wanted was to be around her family or talking to them on the phone. Carol was loved by everyone who knew her and will forever be remembered as an extraordinary wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her life was a beautiful tapestry of selfless devotion and nurturing care, woven with the threads of kindness, wisdom, and an unwavering commitment to her family.
Carol is survived by her children; Danny (Sandy) Wehrman, Bobby (Teri) Wehrman, Timmy (Rosa) Wehrman, Scott, Clint (Kristi) Wehrman, Sonia (Jeff) Pontius, and Tracy (Carl) Alverez as well as her 16 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Carol was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father, and her siblings.
I am not quite sure how you fill this hole in your heart. I don’t know how you fix the hurt you feel within your entire being. What do you do with the feelings of helplessness and despair? What do we do now that our mom is gone, where do we go from here? I'm not ready to let her go, I want her back.
These are all things we said to each other as we stood there watching our mom slip away from us when we talked to each other for days after she passed. We know this isn’t unique to our family, but we have never had a loss so great or a pain so deep. This is because no one had the abundance of love in her heart for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that our mom did. When that love is gone there is such a void you just don’t know what to do. Never again on the other end of a phone line will we hear, “Hello honey” or “God bless you and your family.”
For Carol, this love went far beyond just us. She had this same abundance of love for our dad, for her parents, for Aunt Lorraine, Uncles Paul, George, and Bob, and especially for Dave and Don. Uncles Dace and Don were God's special gift to our mom, in their simple and worrisome lives they gave her so much to love, they gave her so much love in return and they meant the world to her. In the evenings when she had so much trouble, she would ask Uncle Paul to please come and help her. She hadn’t seen her mom in almost 70 years and her dad in over 50 years. God fixed all that on January 18th.
Those of us here know that the love our mom had was deep and far-reaching. It touched so many people from friends, of all ages she was as comfortable and loving with someone 30 years younger than her as she was someone 10 years older, to nieces, nephews, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends. But beyond love, she always had a smile and a willingness to listen. Whenever you showed her a picture of one of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren, she would get a huge smile and always say, “Don’t you just love them.”
Our mom never wanted to be the center of attention, but she always wanted to be in the middle of the action. Especially when her family was around. She loved her chocolate, her water, and her Sprite. She loved the goats and Sonia’s house, the birds at the feeder and she always talked about the buffalo in Texas. Our mom always had as many clothes in her closet with the price tag still on as not. You never know when you may have to take something back! We mention these things not because in and of themselves they are important, but because they give you a sense of how our mom lived her life. She lived a simple life, full of simple pleasures. Her family, her Catholic faith, and a hope for all little babies was all she needed. In fact, when she signed into the rehab center, they told her there was a safe available for her valuables and money. She looked at the administrator and said, “We don’t have money, we have kids. It’s better that way.”
You wouldn’t know our mom if you didn’t know how she felt about life. She believed abortion was the greatest abomination to ever come upon mankind. She had a tremendous love for Jesus and the Blessed Mother, especially Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She believed all little babies were a direct gift from God to be cherished and loved no matter the circumstance. For as understanding as Carol was, this was not debatable.
Love has been mentioned many times in the memorial. That is because if you wrote or spoke about Carol Ann and you didn’t mention love you would have missed the very essence of her being. If love and Carol are not used in the same sentence, then you missed the very purpose of her life.
If it is possible to find comfort in losing our mom, It is that she did not suffer. We see God’s hand in that. And we know, if anyone has ever gone straight to heaven, it was our mom. She was celebrating with God and all the heavenly hosts immediately. She has been reunited with her parents, brothers, sisters, and the sibling we never got to know.
Thanks to all of you that came to help us remember and celebrate our mom.