Breathing Spaces has been filled with so much joy and wisdom, it is hard to conceive that Mary Byrne will no longer sharing her words with you.

Mary Byrne had a cerebral hemorrhage on July 6th and received the very best medical care. This gave us time for wishes, hopes and prayers but she was not able to come back to us. I hope that it will be of some solace to know that Mary Byrne did not suffer and that she left us filled with many joys. She and I were planning to move to a new home in San Diego (which I have done on my own). We were going back to Ireland for two months this Fall, including a writing retreat at the Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat in Ireland. Her first children’s book “Grammy! Grammy! and the Magic Hat” will be published August 2019. And, she was working on several other projects.

After the 2016 election, Mary Byrne knew that we need to find a community and she found the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. This began a wonderful new chapter in our lives and the community has been of great support to me and the rest of our family.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service for Mary Byrne at the First UU Church of San Diego (4190 Front St, San Diego, CA 92103) at 2 pm on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 with a reception to follow. In Mary Byrne’s words this service will be to “express her gratitude for the love and support of family, friends and community”. It was her hope that the service and reception would be “full of good stories, good food, music, dance and laughter.” All are welcome!

We know that many of the people whose lives intersected with Mary Byrne’s will not be able to attend but we want you to be with us in spirit. We are planning to video the ceremony and will let you know the details for getting a copy.

Perhaps there is a story, writing, poem or photograph that you’d like to share. (My email address is: ( )

If you won’t be able to join us for the Celebration of the Life of Mary Byrne, maybe on the afternoon of September 21st you will take time to marvel at nature, walk a labyrinth, spread kindness or just reflect on the blessings in our lives and pledge to continue to work to make this a better world for our children and grandchildren.

Also, in lieu of flowers, a list of several special causes that Mary Byrne supported is being prepared. More information will be posted here and on FACEBOOK.

We are so fortunate that Mary Byrne Hoffmann was part of our lives. Her many gifts will live on in our works, words, deeds and thoughts. She will be sorely missed.

Blessed be,

Les Vivian