Tribute to Bill Martz – 4-2-42 to 10-3-15

Almost all of us experience loss at sometime in our life. And although every story is different, we probably all relate some degree to that wrenching emotion that comes from saying goodbye to one we love.

Depending on how close we are to the person we lose, the loss can be like losing a limb. As Robert Southey put it, “time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.”

It seemed to me the minute Bill died (October 3, 2015 at 7:48 EDT) almost all the normal cares, concerns, hopes, and fears of life fell away. Things that once mattered just didn’t matter any more. So often, it was like looking at the world through a thin curtain and that I was neither dead nor alive.

Bill’s unconditional love for me over 51 years of marriage left an imprint that can never be removed. His actions and words over our life together continue to be part of my actions, thoughts and decisions. I still “hear” his voice and sense his presence at every place he walked and was, even though I know he’s not here.

He was a gift – the most treasured part of my life.

We shared our lives, dreams, failures, successes, heartbreaks, strengths and weaknesses, the best times and the worst, the little joys and the big for more than 51 years.

He helped create an environment in our marriage that allowed us both to work towards becoming the best we could be in every area of our life.

Truly I am among the most blessed of women on earth.
I will love him and hold him dear forever.

Victoria Hanley expressed my feelings when she said,

“I have lived with you and loved you, and now you are gone. Gone where I cannot follow, until I have finished all of my days.”

Final Thoughts

Thinking of all of you who have lost someone dear. May their memories help give you the strength you need to go forward.

Bill Martz, artist, drawing in the Northern Neck. Part of the Chesapeake Bay area.

To learn what Bill was all about you can watch a 2 minute video on his website billmartz.com .


Why Not Go for Being All You Can Be etc. (our story)

Before My Garden – A Dog Story


All content including photos is copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com.  All Rights Reserved.


  • OH Theresa, How wonderful to have had 51 lovely years. Your love for your husband still shines through your words. Looking at both of your pictures, you favor each other as people tend to do after sharing so much life. I”ve never met you or your husband but wonder at your great love story. Hope this day is filled with some soul healing rituals that enable you feel his presence. Much love, Mary Cush

  • I’ll be thinking of you today. What sweet thoughts of a good man. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of a life well spent.

  • What a sweet, beautiful memorial to your husband! Thank you for including the wonderful picture! You are in my prayers! With love!

  • Good morning Theresa, thank you for helping me start my day on a more appreciative note. I am so glad you had good years together. While out in my garden this summer, I often wondered how YOU are doing. I know your TMG followers are hopeful you are improving. A brief update would be welcome. We are thinking of you, often.
    Another grateful gardener. Madeleine

  • We should all be so blessed to have loved and be loved the way you and Bill have. You and he have left your mark on this world and made it a more wonderful place for so many of us. You have both shared so much knowledge and beauty that it leaves me wishing I had crossed paths with you much earlier in my life. I would have loved to have met your Bill. His works always draw me in and cause me to feel like I am there.

  • Don’t you know how proud Bill is of you? Not only for continuing your work, but how you have handled/are handling your current health setback. You embody Resilience. JulieB

  • Prayers for you, always think of you and amazing 51 yrs. Why do the men always go first.

  • “Treasured” is the term Charles and I use for having both Bill and Theresa in our lives. Wonderful tribute!

  • I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet you both. What a lovely tribute and yes do let us know how you are doing.

  • Theresa, loss of one so close as Bill was to you certainly is like losing a limb. I appreciate your tribute. I cannot believe it has already been three years since his passing. Sending you hugs! And much love!

  • Thank you for sharing. It was heartwarming. And how are you doing? How is the healing from the fall?

  • This is such a beautiful tribute, Theresa. Thank you for sharing your great love and inspiring all of us with its beauty and steadfastness.

    ” I still “hear” his voice and sense his presence at every place he walked and was, even though I know he’s not here.”

    I don’t mean to be argumentative or anything remotely like it, but I would wager that he IS still here. At least part of his soul is; the part that watches over you. In my experience, when there is a love as great as yours & Bill’s, the souls cannot be separated, not even temporarily.

    When my mother-in-law, Cora, died, after 67 years of being closely and happily married to my father-in-law, he was utterly devastated and lost. My husband and I did our best to comfort him and took over dinner to his house every night, to keep him company. For some reason, from the very first day after she died, I got into the habit of slipping into their bedroom off the kitchen after dinner and talking to her picture on the wall ((which I know sounds like a pretty strange thing to do! But death breaks down the usual social barriers and at the time it seemed completely natural and normal). Cora and I had always been close, and searching for answers to all the grief, I would ask her what I should be doing to help Ted through his sorrow. Every evening when I walked into that room, her presence would hit me like a physical force. I could feel her all around me. I assumed it must be my imagination. But still, the warmth and caring and the vibration of her personality were unmistakable, so I just went with it.

    Less than 9 months after she died, Ted died too, to nobody’s surprise. He no longer wanted to be here. After leaving the hospital for the last time, we went back to his house, to feed his cat and check on things. From force of habit, I absentmindedly walked into the bedroom to talk to Cora’s picture. As soon as I stepped through the door I was struck like a thunderbolt by the room’s emptiness. She was gone. The room felt utterly empty and devoid of anything whatsoever. I was stunned by its lack of warmth. And that’s when I fully realized that of course, She had been staying all those months to comfort Ted. And now he was gone, she no longer needed to be here either. The whole experience, ethereal though it was, was so utterly real, I simply couldn’t doubt its validity.

    Warmest wishes to you & Bill, Theresa. Inseparable forever I’m thinking.

  • Thank you all for responding so warmly and lovingly. Your replies mean so much to me.

    Hope to post an update soon — which I probably would not have done without your encouragement to do so.


  • Bill’s art, so much like himself, was true, powerful, warm, and so real. He captured God’s creations like so many artists have tried, but failed. Theresa’s support was crucial, as she continues to succeed on her own and as a testimony to their loving partnership.

  • When I first met you and Bill I thought you were newlyweds. The love and admiration between the two of you was everywhere and it was wonderful being in your company. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been with you and Bill in your home and garden. I know Bill is still looking out for you and always will.

    I love you and the way you share life’s lessons in addition to your garden wisdom. Hugs.

  • Thanks Doc. I always appreciate your loving and kind words for Bill and for me.

    Linda, thank you for this beautiful message. I too am thankful for the opportunity to have you visit with Bill and me in our home some years back. It was such an enjoyable afternoon.

    We had a lot of fun the day we met you and the other ladies up in King George. A great time, with lots of laughs, and everyone was so warm and friendly to us.

    Would love to know how you’re doing whenever you have time to email me.


  • Dear Theresa,

    For some reason I just got around to reading this. How appropriate though, because last weekend my son married the love of his life. They are the definition of soulmates, if ever there was any. I’ve never seen him so full of love as when he looks into her eyes. She has a heart of gold, loves him with her whole heart, and I could not have handpicked a better mate for him.

    This love is rare, at least from my experience it is. Everyone is looking for it; few actually find it. I imagine you and Bill started out the same exact way 51 years ago. People may come and go, but true love never dies. When he visits you in your dreams, you can be sure he’s still very much with you and your gift of memory keeps him there.

  • Such love and devotion! This example is so important to set and share with our young people. Thank you Theresa for sharing such a wonderful part of you with us.

    I hope TMG readers will send what they can to Theresa via PayPal to help her with necessities while she is recovering and unable to grow the food she normally provides for herself.
    She needs all of us right now.

    I love you Theresa

  • Suzanne, thank you for such a beautiful message. Meant a lot to me.

    Toni, your help and encouragement has really made a difference to me. Thank you so very much for your love. It is returned in full force.

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