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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Room to grieve

A backpacking journey with friends and family helps Anne Arthur realize a dream she shared with her late husband.

By David Barton -- Bee Staff Writer

When she set out to hike 200 miles of the John Muir Trail, Anne Arthur, 57, wasn't aiming to make a statement. She just wanted to go on a hike, the kind she and her husband had planned to do.

"We'd been trying to get back to backpacking," she says of her hiking plans with her husband of 22 years, Jeff. "It was an activity in which we both felt alive; it was something that we shared."

But that was before Jeff, 58, died unexpectedly last November. And before Anne was forced to think about her life and her dreams in a new light.

"When you lose somebody, you start acting on your dreams," she says at her home in midtown Sacramento. "It refocuses everything in your life, and you decide, 'If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it now.' Because you don't know how you're going to feel next year. At 57, you can't assume you're going to become more able to do something like this." >> More>>