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How Long Does It Take For a Heart to Heal?

On March 9th, 2013, I realized my sister Bean had been dead for 10 years.  The odd thing about that?  She died on March 7th, so I was two days late in making this realization.

It didn’t occur to me until just a week or so ago, during a phone call with my sister Meg, that none of us – not me, not my mom, and not Megan – talked about Bean on the anniversary of the day she died.  It had become an annual tradition.  Megan and I always called my mom on March 7th, and then my mom always connected the calls so we could all talk to each other.  I think we called Mommy to make sure she was okay, and I feel like she made sure we talked to each other so that the sadness could be overshadowed by the sarcasm and humor that always prevails in our phone conversations.

But why didn’t we all call each other on March 7th this year?

I’m busy.  In school full time, raising my family, sprinkling pixie dust – it all takes a lot of time.  Megan works long days and has had mountains piled on her plate.  My mom is finally feeling well, getting around, doing some shopping, making up for time she lost while she was sick.  Any of those things could have contributed to the missing phone calls.

Or maybe, finally, we have healed.

There will always be pain, especially when I think about the things she didn’t get to see or do – or my kids she never got to know.  But there isn’t crying.  When I think of Bean, there is joy – that we got to do so much with her when she was here, and that we all benefited in this life from knowing her.  There are more stories of good times and happy occasions than there are memories of the circumstances of March 7th, 2003.

So it does happen.  Time does heal all wounds, even those of the heart.

It just takes ten years.

Frances M. (Bean) Bilbrough


Suddenly on March 7 2003. Age 37.
Beloved daughter of Anna and Bob Holak of Medford NJ and John and Ann Bilbrough of Laurel Springs NJ. Dear sister of Anna Skamarakas (Jim) Megan Holak (Brett) Kathleen Flaherty (Paul) and Danny Orbanus (Angela). Loving aunt to Brighid and Eilis Jonathon and Michael Danny and Christian. Bean is also survived by her grandmother Caroline Holak and many aunts uncles cousins and many dear friends.
She was a 1984 graduate of Shawnee High School.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family Tuesday eve from 7 to 9pm and Wednesday morning from 8:15 to 9:15am at GARDNER FUNERAL HOME RUNNEMEDE 126 S. Black Horse Pike Runnemede. Funeral Mass 10am Wednesday morning Annunciation BVM Church Bellmawr. Interment private at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Annunciation Regional School 605 W. Browning Rd. Bellmawr NJ 08031 of which Bean was a volunteer. Expressions of sympathy may be e-mailed to Condolences@GardnerFuneralHome.com