A dignified and grateful life

by Mary Pat Fitzpatrick, University alumna

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the weight of a tragedy. Even in the most painful of situations, it’s important to recognize that soul-saving gratitude may arise. I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend, Ann Connelly. Over 12 years ago, she was given a grave and heartbreaking prognosis.

During his tribute to his sister, Ann’s brother John took time to sincerely thank the health care professionals that cared for Ann, specifically Dr. Edward Greeno and his staff at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Clinic.

“He’s the doctor that allowed everyone to be blessed with Ann all these extra years, allowing her to live with dignity and poise, to live unencumbered by her illness. He allowed Ann to live the life she wanted most,” I recall John saying of Greeno.

Tragedy tries to rip us apart, and so it is during the moments that are the most sorrowful that it is essential to remember that we are all interconnected.

To me, the dedication of Greeno to his patient, and the gratitude of his patient’s family to him, is beautiful. We change lives through our relationships, and in recognizing our appreciation to one another, we enrichall our lives.