Teri was a bright light for all

Sometimes I wonder whether Teri Goudie was a figment of my imagination. Surely, no one individual could embody so much love, energy and life. She was the stuff that tall tales are made of: Supermom of five, Professional Guru, Adventure Enthusiast, an absolutely tireless Seeker of Light.

Do I make her sound intimidating? She wasn't. Warm and caring, Teri was a woman who simply loved her family, her work, her faith, her friends. She was buoyed up by a boundless energy that radiated out to those lucky enough to know her. We grew stronger; we became more curious. We worked harder to succeed.

Teri's great gift was a limitless curiosity and a limitless desire to reach out to people and learn from them. She was a teacher who wanted to be taught.

When Teri spoke to you, you were elevated. You suddenly became the most important person in the room, drawn into her obit.

Teri and I were writing partners for The Community Revue. Our brainstorming sessions always left me breathless. She had an excess of ideas, a wealth of content. More topics and jokes and potential scenes than could be fit into the next 50 years of revues. In writing, Teri had a keen and yet still loving eye on our community. In rehearsals, Teri was always the first person off-book and in character. In performance, she was magnificent. Her incandescent stage presence put us all to shame.

Teri's generosity of spirit was the stuff of legend. A few years ago, I self-published a little book. Several of my friends bought a copy and said nice things to me. And what did Teri do? She opened her home, invited every book club in Hinsdale to attend, and held a glittering celebration and book-reading for me. Because that's who Teri was. A champion for others.

When Teri became ill, she only slowed down a little. She frequently praised the amazing physicians and nurses she encountered and would simply note that she'd had a "setback" or two. None of us really believed that a light like Teri's could ever go away. She was too bright, too electric, too much a part of this world to ever leave it.

At her visitation, Teri's family carried on her poise and grace. They comforted us, as the long line of grieving friends went on for hours. They were stalwart and loving and kind. Teri must have been so proud.

At her beloved St. Isaac's, we celebrated Teri's life here and her movement onward to the next. The church was teeming with colleagues, family and friends from the radiating circles of Teri's orbit. We prayed, we wept, we sang. We were all stronger together. Which was the perfect way to honor this most remarkable woman. We love you, Teri.

- Susan O'Bryne is a guest columnist. Readers

can email her at [email protected].