His death came unexpectedly. She said when she woke up at her usual 5am she heard her husband was having difficulty breathing, but she didn't think much of it. A couple of hours later she was surprised he wasn't out of bed yet, and it was at that time Maria realized Pavel, the love of her life, had died. Just the week before they told me she didn't know what she would do if she were to lose her husband.. and then... he was gone.
This was taken in April 2011 at the funeral of Pavel, a man who every Wednesday at my weekly breakfast with Maria would say to me the only two words he knew in English, "Hello America!" The woman in the center is Maria, his wife, and she is surrounded by their two sons and their families, supporting her.