In Kate Chopin's "The Story of An Hour," Louise Mallard is told of her husband's sudden death. After crying uncontrollably in her sister's arms, Louise heads to her bedroom to process her feelings alone. She looks out the window and reflects on her emotions. Before long, she finds herself overwhelmed by unexpected feelings of relief, happiness, and optimism. She whispers to herself, "free, free, free!"
These feelings are not the result of a lack of kindness on Brently Mallard's part. His hands are described as being "kind" and "tender." Louise recalls that her husband's face never looked upon her with anything but love. She acknowledges that she will weep for and mourn her husband again, particularly when she sees his dead body, but she is still joyous about his demise.
The reason for Louise's happiness about Brently's death is not that he was unkind to her, but rather that she has revolved her life around him and is now looking forward to having the freedom to fulfill her own dreams for a change. She is excited that she will no longer have to live for her husband and that she can finally live for herself. She is no longer tied down and can pursue her own dreams and passions.