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Alice’s Funeral: “Goodbye Temporarily”

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Alice Demske Hansen’s funeral was held on a beautiful Monday, May 14th.

Kurt and Alice dated for four years before getting married, 1 1/2 of which was long distance.  When they dating long distance, they would spend hours and hours talking on the phone.  They hated to hang up and disconnect with each other.  They always said, “Goodbye, temporarily!”

With the help of my florist friend, I put together the funeral flowers. I chose flowers that I had used for Kurt and Alice’s wedding: white roses and blue hydrangea. There were also white lilies, white freesia, white hydrangea, and blue delphinium. Kurt and Alice’s wedding colors were blue and white.

It was a beautiful service, filled with wonderful praises to Alice and beautiful musical numbers. My favorite was Andante Sostenudo by Schubert performed by Scott Holden. I imagined it as the background music to the whole day.

Alice is a beautiful person and we celebrated her life. But it was hard to ignore the tragedy of it all. It was a sad event.

Her kids put these stickers on her casket.

My brother was a champion throughout the whole day. I probably wouldn’t have been able to stop crying if I were him. But he was strong and solemn, determined more than ever to earn his place next to Alice in Heaven by being the best father he can be. I cried when I thought of that happy day when they will be reunited.

This is Squaw Peak, the spot right next to the church where her funeral was held. It was beautiful weather, on the warm side and hardly a cloud in the sky. Just the type of day where Kurt and Alice would go up the canyon to have a picnic.

My own little Lukey wasn’t feeling great. He’d gotten in the path of a Nerf bat and got this lovely shiner. And later that night he threw up ten times and almost went to the hospital. Not our best week.

Funerals are necessary for closure, I feel.  But my grief of losing Alice is still just as resounding as before.  At times the ache will hit me like a load of bricks and I’ll be overcome with sadness.  But it is nothing compared to the hole left in my brother’s heart.  I know that it won’t be easy, but I have complete confidence in my brother’s abilities to be a wonderful and competent single father. And I believe that he is 100% determined to do everything he can.  He loves his children so very much and wants to share that love and Alice’s love with them every single day for the rest of their life.

I also want to thank you all for your wonderful and generous donations and contributions.  Whether it be monetary or service oriented, each one is such a wonderful blessing and demonstration of the good that exists in this world.  We feel so loved, supported, and cared for.  And I know that my brother would give every one of you a hug of immense gratitude.  He is very, very thankful for all of the help.  We all are.  So from the bottom of our hearts:  thank you.




  1. Oh Heidi, what a sweet tribute to Alice and also to your brother. I know we share the same beliefs, and while I’m sure it is a test of those beliefs, I’m sure they are an immense comfort. I just want to give you a hug! xoxo (And wowza, that is quite the shiner!)

  2. Heidi–Still praying for you and your family. Hope you are able to feel some peace and comfort! Love you!

  3. Your family’s tragedy has been on my mind so much lately. I pray that your brother and his children will find peace and comfort knowing that Alice is with them in spirit. God bless you all.


  4. I have been following your blog for the last 6 months or so. I found you on pinterest I think. I had no idea you had a connection to one of my good friends. My husband completed the MBA program last year. All during his 2nd year, Alice was in a play group with me and 2 other women. As I no longer live in Utah and was unable to attend the funeral, I appreciate this brief update. That contagious smile of Alice’s will be something I will always remember. What a wonderful person she was…I only met your brother once but my heart breaks for him. I can’t stop thinking about the trial ahead of him. Congrats to his new baby girl and may the Lord sustain him as he raises his young family. I loved Alice and her listening ear. I will model my life after her.

  5. My heart still aches for your family. Looking at your brother’s pictures made me cry. He looks like he is trying to be so strong for everyone. I don’t think I could outwardly be so well put together. I’d like to think I could keep it together for the kids & put on a brave face but I know I’d just be a big mess crying on the ground. God bless your brother and those beautiful children Alice left behind!!!

  6. My heart is hurting for you and your family. Thinking of you guys a lot this week.

  7. I am so incredibly sorry that your family is dealing with such a devastating loss. This time that should be filled with joy is also filled with sorrow. Just know that there are many people out there thinking of you all and sending our love from around the country.

  8. I can’t begin to tell you how very sorry I am for this terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.. Thank you for sharing this with us. I will carry it through life with me..

  9. So heartbreaking. My heart hurts for you family, especially your brother and his young kids. Sending prayers and love.

  10. I am a long-time blog follower and just wanted to say that my heart is aching for you and your family. You are all in my prayers. Please continue to let us know how we can help.

  11. I couldn’t possibly know what this must be like for you or for your brother, but it has to be completely devastating–I just want you to know that even strangers like me care about what’s going on, and that we’re here to offer our thoughts and prayers. I hope all the best for the future.

  12. Thank you for the pictures and updates. When Alice lived in ND we spent time together and had so much fun. I will miss her so very much.

  13. Heidi, thank you for sharing photos of Alice’s funeral. I had to cry once I saw the sticker on her casket. My heart hurts for you and your family. Hang in there, I’m still sending hugs, thoughts and prayers your way.

  14. Like everyone who posted comments before me, my heart breaks for your whole family, especially for your brother and his children. I know they will be together again in heaven, but right now the grief must be overwhelming for all of you at times. Please know that time will help, it won’t make you miss Alice or not care that she isn’t there, but it won’t feel as raw as it does now. We are all praying for you and lifting your family up. May God bring you peace and comfort and may He watch over your brother and the children in the coming months.

  15. You are not alone. You might feel all alone in your grief but you aren’t. It will take some or a lot of time for your family to embrace life again. But you are not alone. You have yourself, your family, friends, a community and random people whot hink of you. You have your faith. Your sister-in-law would never want you to be sad too long. Talk to her and she will tell you when it’s enough.
    My love goes out to you!

  16. I am deeply sorry for your loss and for the exponential loss to your brother and his children. I cannot imagine the heartache that he is feeling. What I do know is that God is Sovereign. Sovereign by definition means that HE has absolute power & authority. As a fellow believer, I hope that knowing this characteristic of Christ gives your family comfort, peace and courage during this overwhelmingly difficult time. It’s a season and it will pass eventually. May God bless you all. My prayers are with your brother and his small children.

  17. More hugs and prayers for all of you–and just remember…just because you know you’ll see her again doesn’t mean that you won’t miss her and wonder why…and when the grief gets overwhelming, it doesn’t mean that your faith has wavered.

    I hope you continue to feel love and support from all those around you.

  18. thank you for sharing this part of your journey in this life, it humbles my heart & reminds me to love everyone better everyday, no matter what difficulty is presenting itself in our lives, the moments we have together are precious and we shall grasp those moments more intensely with each day that we are blessed with.
    may the angels watch over your family
    may the Lord grace all of you with peace in all your hearts

  19. Shirley Lupton says:

    My heart is breaking for all of you. You will have a full time job teaching her children about their mother since they are so young to remember. How is the baby and the boys? You are all in our prayers everynight. Right now your brother is just in the motion and will need you all the more real soon. Just put it in God’s hands.

  20. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Sometimes it is so hard to see God’s plan but peace can come from knowing He has it all worked out. All of you will be in my prayers. God’s will will be done.

  21. april harris says:

    Fabulous flowers- they are gorgeous. You did a great job. What an honor. Love you guys!

  22. I am praying for your family during this difficult time. Pray that Alice is at peace in heaven, and that her family are carried through this tragedy. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

    another Heidi

  23. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers that God comforts your brother and his young babies as the days go on as well as the rest of your family. Sending hugs from Louisiana.

  24. My heart aches for your family. I am sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers. Until you meet again…..

  25. Heidi, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts and prayers being sent your way from Wisconsin. Stay strong.

  26. I am sorry as well for your loss. It is so difficult to lose a loved one. Your posts show how much you loved her and I am so amazed at the grace with which you and your brother (EVERYONE REALLY) is handling this terrible tragedy. Peace be with you.

    Also, this is a widower’s blog about losing his wife right after she had their first child. http://www.mattlogelin.com/
    It is beautiful, poetic, raw, heartbreaking (and sometimes profane). But he keeps it real. He also has a fund that gives money to those left behind by a spouse. I hope you look into it, I find real comfort in his words.

  27. I knew Alice from the Singles Ward while she was in Kansas. Always someone I looked up to because of her loving and open personality, and that great smile. We didn’t keep in touch after she moved, though I thought about her, especially, oddly enough, a few weeks ago several times, and then saw a friend’s post on facebook a bit ago about an “Alice.” I knew it was this sweet girl, even though I didn’t realize that my friend knew Alice. I wanted to say thank you for sharing. We all have been praying for their family since we heard. My little ones, 16 months & 3 years, remember them every night in their own prayers. I lost my mom when I was 21. One of the hardest things I’ve dealt with, and because of it I was very reluctant to get close to anyone. My husband had to do some praying and patiently waiting while I decided it was okay to let myself get that close to someone, being afraid that I might lose them. Coming from that experience, something like this happening is still my worst nightmare. However – I also know from that experience that whatever time we have together is precious. Kurt and Alice and their little ones were so blessed, and they will continue to be blessed throughout the rest of their lives and even eternity. Love and hope to their (and your) family from another little family in Kansas.

  28. What a terrible loss for your family. That little sticker on the casket had me in tears for your brother’s children.

  29. That was beautiful Heidi. How can you read such a story without tears filling your eyes and spilling onto your cheeks. My heart is with you, prayers and all. I hope the sweet little baby is okay.

  30. I just read this sad sad story, my heart broke for this family. It’s a huge reminder to not take life or the people around you for granted. Bless you, your family and your brother during the hard days ahead.

  31. Heidi, Your words in both your posts to your blog, are so eloquent yet so musical. The words you have chosen are so well placed..my heart goes out to you, your family, your brother, his young family, and Alice’s parents and family and all the true and trusted friends that were found and made a long her life’s path..now she continues her soul’s journey on a different plane. May the Angels always be felt by all of you, and may life be lifted up on their wings. Alice sounds like a person I would have loved to have met. All I can say is Wow! So sad..the world lost a beautiful soul but it is heaven’s gain.
    This is a total reminder that life is oh so precious and that life can pass in the blink of an eye.
    I somehow know she is with all of you laughing and hugging you, and maybe even sitting down and playing the piano somewhere.
    Peace love and hugs and support. I will be sharing this on both my fb pages. ~Namaste Nadya

  32. Hi Heidi! My heart goes out to your brother and your whole family. Alice’s story just breaks my heart. Having just gone through a loss of my own, I am so much more sensitive to things like this. I will continue to pray for your family as you all make your way through the grief.

    I’m in Utah County, if you ever want to talk, I’d love to.

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