Love From the Ashes

In March, Boston Fire Department member Lt. Edward Walsh Jr. died while fighting a fire. Walsh died along with firefighter Michael R. Kennedy in the basement of a residential building during a nine-alarm fire, and both were hailed as heroes by a department spokesman who said "they gave people a chance to escape, and they died doing their job." Thankfully no civilians died in the fire.

The fatal blaze shocked Boston, and the loss of these two brave young men hit the city hard. It was especially hard for Kristen Walsh, widow of Edward and mother of three. Walsh's fellow firefighters at the Boylston Street house reached out to his widow to try to provide whatever comfort or help she needed. For Kristen, there was only one thing she wanted: Edward's wedding ring.

According to the Boston Globe, a search of Edward's body found the ring was missing, and a top-to-bottom search of the Boylston Street firehouse turned up empty. The only answer was that the ring, which Edward seldom removed from his hand, was still back at the site of the fire, where he had died. Without hesitation, Walsh's former comrades rushed back to the scene and sifted through a mountain of soot, rubble and ashes. When Patty Kenneally Donnovan found the ring, after hours of searching, it was a rare moment of joy for the department and Walsh's family.

Grieving for a lost loved one is long, painful process that is different for everyone. Being able to give solace and comfort to others can be a source of strength for ourselves, as the men and women of the Boston Fire Department discovered in their struggle to bring comfort to Walsh's family.

Read more about Lt. Edward Walsh Jr.'s life and leave a message in his online Guest Book.