By Therese Ketterer
Foreword By John Polo
6 x 9 inches
Published November 2022
Self-Help / Death, Grief, Bereavement
The reality of becoming a widow hit home for Therese Ketterer when she first told someone that her husband Paul was no longer with us.
She simply said, "He's not here."
During Paul's funeral services, she received a great deal of support and advice. It was then that she decided that she had very good reasons for writing a book about dealing with the death of a loved one: helping people who have been widowed, honoring her husband's memory, healing her broken heart, facing the challenge to be positive, and filling her days with some purposeful writing. She began to learn the difference between being alone and being lonely, and she also found that she needed ways to move forward.
As she continued to write, a secondary purpose emerged. She wanted to help educate well-meaning people about what to say to console the bereaved. For example, she hated to be told to "get over it" and did not want to hear any comment that began with the words "at least..."
In He's Not Here ... Or Is He?, Therese shares wisdom she has gained from her experience as a widow and suggestions she hopes will not only help those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, but those who want to support and console them as well.
"He's gone. Yet he is never really gone if he is still in your memory, your heart, your mind, your soul, and your spirit." —from the Preface
About the Author
Therese Ketterer began her professional career as the Secretary to the President of Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. While working during the day, she pursued her baccalaureate studies in the evening as a part-time student. Upon receiving her B.A. summa cum laude, she was promoted to the rank of administrative faculty as the Assistant to the President. After getting married to her husband Paul, she continued in that position until taking maternity leave. Her time off, however, lasted much longer than the allowed one month — because she and Paul became the proud parents of twins! While remaining a stay-at-home mother for several years, Therese returned to her studies and earned her M.Ed. in Educational Administration at SUNY at Buffalo.
Once the children entered school, Therese reentered the working world as a Director of Religious Education at four parishes at different times until her retirement. In each community, her responsibilities included teaching Bible Study, conducting parent workshops, leading teams which assisted people in becoming Catholic (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA), serving on Parish Councils, and engaging in other involvements including participation in "Mission," which was offered in three of the four Churches as a parish-based renewal program. With each position, Therese had the responsibility of writing devotional booklets during the seasons of Advent and Lent, preparing Penance services, and composing other para-liturgical services as requested by her pastors. Therese served on several Diocesan committees which included being a Vicariate representative in each of her respective parishes.
Upon reaching their retirement age, Paul and Therese continued to volunteer in the many ministries, activities, and organizations of their parish community, which had been their "home" for over forty years. They particularly enjoyed singing together in the parish choir. As retirees, Paul and Therese happily found that they had more time to spend with their family. Their children were grown, and they had families of their own. Therese describes her children and grandchildren as wonderful, helpful, close-knit, and supportive — something that has been very important since she became a widow.
All of a sudden, life changed drastically — first as a result of becoming a widow and then due to the pandemic. Paul died well before COVID arrived, and Therese never contracted the virus. Because of its dangers, however, she has now taken on a more "behind-the-scenes" method of involvement. She continues to write daily inspirations on her Facebook page. Since retiring, she has pursued her passion for writing, which ultimately resulted in this book. Finally, in her own experience of being widowed, the author finds great comfort in the use of her favorite personal prayer: "Jesus, I trust in You!"