About Bridget

Every once in awhile a spiritual teacher crosses our life path, a person of other – worldly depth and wisdom; such was our friend Bridget. Some were fortunate enough to know her for a lifetime. We knew her for only a year but in that year, in that nanosecond on the continuum of eternity, she gave us a graduate degree’s worth of knowledge about what the Bible refers to as, “Fighting the good fight.” You see, Bridget lived with Crohn’s disease; it was one of the worst cases I have ever seen or read about and her life mission was to make sure no one suffered as she had at the hands of medical practitioners who failed to understand the nuances of this disease. She had to live with the results of their misinformation and ignorance. Bridget died on the eve of her 29th birthday, her  4 year old beloved daughter, Bailey, husband, Jeff, and her mother at her side. She passed only moments after she and Anthony had been having fun texting each other about the strange dreams hard core medication often provides.

On the day we met her, Bridget was holding court in her hospital room, her devoted mother and aunt at her side; a nurse was adjusting the myriad of pouches and tubes comprising her IV cocktail so that everything would course smoothly into the port near her clavicle. Physically, she looked tired and beat, like a prize fighter limp on his stool in the corner of the ring between rounds. But when she looked up and smiled at us the room was transformed. In that moment she welcomed us not only into her corner of the ring, she welcomed us without question or judgment, especially Anthony, into her heart. He never let go of the emotional life line she gave him that day; it was how he learned to fight his battle with Crohn’s.  Life school began that day – Bridget the teacher, Anthony her student. They became fast BFFs, soul mates, fellow fighters with others in her life in the battle to educate doctors, nurses, anyone, about this mercurial, mysterious disease that attacks young bodies. She was our poster child yet  5 star general, the face and strong voice of  the Crohn’s disease battle in Indiana.

Bridget would have been so happy to see all those who came from around the country to pay her tribute, to acknowledge what she had accomplished in 28 short years. The funeral home was packed, not a single open spot in the parking lot remained; from small children to community leaders, the Crazy Crohnies to the healthy; they came by the hundreds all afternoon and into the night – and they all bore the same message– that despite being in a battle for her life, Bridget always had a smile that lit up the room, that she never gave up hope, that she fought the good fight.  Because Bridget led the charge, a cure for this hideous and often invisible disease is one step closer to reality.

Today, as winter winds blow and snow swirls in the brutal cold, we will gather to lay our Bridget to her well deserved rest knowing her earthly body is but a shell and that in heaven, the port and the unrelenting pain is gone; that her weight is normal, and that on her 29th birthday she danced in heaven with her God.

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11 thoughts on “About Bridget

    • As another aunt I was so moved as was Colleen her Mom. I unfortunately am not as eloquent and cannor find the words to express my gratitude for putting this out there for all of us so beautifully written and graciously received..

      • Thank you for taking the time to let me know these words truely honor Bridget’s life; that is what I hoped it would do – honor her. It’s also heartwarming to know that Coleen has read this entry. She personifies, for me, the heart of a lioness and it is from her that I learned to fight with all that is in me for Anthony’s rights as a patient.

  1. This certainly is a beautiful tribute to Bridget. I was privileged to meet your son, Anthony, at Bridget’s funeral yesterday. I wish him and long and happy life.

    • Thank you for your kind words, MaryEllen. Bridget was a remarkable woman, one without equal. I think that and her tenacity and smile was what drew Anthony in. She is responsible, in large part, to his current state of health and for that I will be forever grateful. Both of us will always hold her family close in our hearts – and I think Anthony has found a second mom in Coleen. 🙂

      • I know you are Anthony’s mother but I didn’t get to meet you at the viewing. When I read your blog, I get the sense that you are a writer. If you’re not, you should be. I am Jeff’s aunt. He is the husband Bridget left behind. Is there an e-mail address at which I could write you personally? Thanks.

      • HI, MaryEllen!

        First, my deepest sympathy for your loss. I am still in shock and can’t believe she’s not a text away.

        I’m a writer of sorts, so to speak, and would love to be able to do more with it. Thank you for your kind words. Please know that I use my gift to support and lift up others and hope what was written about Bridget will do that. The words for her just poured from my heart about half an hour before I left to attend her service. My hope is one day this blog will be a book that will speak to the hearts of those affected by Crohn’s and Colitis and that Bridget’s story will carry on. (Parts of the blog have been published in a devotional magazine in the United Kingdom.)

        My personal e-mail address is: LisaGreco14@gmail.com and you are more than welcome to write. Or if you’d like to go for coffee sometime, that would be lovely. I will be at Jeff’s on the 8th to deliver dinner as I signed up on the list. Perhaps you’ll be there?

        Warmest Regards, Lisa

        On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM, Confronting Crohn's

  2. Thank you so much for remembering Jeff and Bailey. They are also victims of this horrible disease. I wanted to write and tell you about them.

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