Family, friends remember Southington native married hours before her death

By Bailey Wright

Record-Journal staff

SOUTHINGTON — Dave Mosher says knowing someone is your soulmate is like knowing the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

And he knew that about his wife and town native Heather Mosher.

“I can remember saying to (Heather) that one of two things was going to happen here: either I’mgonna get my heart broken or we’d be together forever,” David Mosher recalled. That was two months into their relationship. 

As the couple danced in his kitchen one night, he described a mutual feeling that they had known each other in another life.

“Looking back, it’s kind of crazy to think about it like that, but in the moment you felt it,” Mosher said.

They had the same taste in music, and when they drove in his truck together they would make a contest out of who could first guess the song title and artist,

“She was very, very smart…she was funny…she was just like my biggest fan,” he said. 

On Dec. 22, the couple was married in the St. Francis Hospital chapel in Hartford. Heather, who had triple negative breast cancer, died 18 hours later surrounded by friends and family at the age of 31. 

“It was probably the saddest day of my life,” Mosher said of their wedding day. “Sadder than the day she passed.”

Heather’s dream was to marry Dave. 

“She put so much energy into getting to the wedding, I knew she wasn’t going to last much more than that,” he said. 

The doctors and nurses at the hospital were just as determined. They wheeled her down to the chapel in her bed and had the foresight to suggest they move up their wedding date because they knew her time was limited. Dave and Heather planned to marry Dec. 30, but that ended up the day of her funeral. 

They met at the Hartford Underground, where they both liked swing dancing. Friends for almost a year, they started dating in early 2015 and were engaged at the end of 2016. 

Dave Mosher proposed on Dec. 23, 2016, the same day Heather Mosher was diagnosed with cancer and exactly a year before she died.

“We thought we were just going in for a biopsy, that it was a nothing thing,” Dave Mosher said of the doctor’s appointment in 2016. He had already planned to propose that day and carried out the plan, taking her on a horse-driven carriage to pop the question. 

“It gave us something to focus on,” he said. “It was like we have this really bad diagnosis, but she also had a ring to show off to her family and friends.”

Christina Lee Karas, Heather Mosher’s close friend for four years and bridesmaid at her wedding, said Dave cherished Heather. 

“It was a beautiful thing…she was just glowing with happiness,” Karas said. “When they looked at each other you knew… they equally valued and cherished each other.”

To Dave Mosher’s two daughters from a previous marriage — Sophia, 8, and Molly, 6 — Heather Mosher was a “bonus mom.”

“They would open up to her about things that they wouldn’t tell me about,” he said. At bedtime, she would ask the girls what the best and worst parts of their day were, which started deeper conversations. 

Not long before she was diagnosed, Heather Mosher started work at Stafford Springs Elementary School as a school psychologist. She spent years preparing for the job, interning at various area schools and getting her master’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University. 

During the 2014 school year, Heather Mosher was an intern at John Barry Elementary School in Meriden, under school psychologist, Margery Stahl. 

Stahl said Heather Mosher was specially picked for the position, her graduate professors knowing she could take on the particularly challenging school population. 

“She loved the children and felt a strong need to be in a profession where she was giving something back to the world,” Stahl said. “She was on a mission to make the world a better place.”

Stahl was diagnosed with breast cancer herself and, although her condition was less severe, she remembers Heather reaching out and saying “hey, we’re going to be radiation buddies for a while.”

“I just found it particularly touching knowing that she had been in and out of the hospital and (the cancer) had become malignant,” Stahl said, recalling when she got her diagnosis in September, around the same time Heather Mosher’s cancer had spread to her heart and lungs. “We knew then that it was terminal and to have her reach out to me…that’s selfless. That’s incredible grace and selfless.”

Since her death, Dave Mosher and Karas have been spreading Heather Mosher’s story around the world. News organizations from London, Africa, Poland, and all around the U.S. have contacted them. 

“It’s been amazing how far-reaching the story has gotten,” Dave Mosher said. “It’s surreal, but I feel like God’s hand is on this and directing this, in a way that Heather didn’t die for no reason.” 

Dave Mosher recalled Heather Mosher’s video blogs and how, in the last one she made, she had said she wanted to be a beacon of light for God. He believes she has become one by bringing attention to triple negative breast cancer.

Karas said Heather Mosher is also showing people that you don’t need to be afraid, even at death’s door. 

“The focus was always on God having a purpose for her life,” Karas said. “She never once seemed to think, ‘oh, this might be it. She never lost faith in God.’ ” 

On the prayer card distributed at Heather Mosher’s funeral was her favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

It reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” 203-317-2316 Twitter: @baileyfaywright

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