Monday, October 25, 2010


I remember joining Brian's family, some 17 years ago when we first started dating. I remember how he talked about this aunt -- his Aunt Kris -- who was so cool and awesome to hang out with. She was more than just an aunt, he had said. She was a friend, a confidante, and fiercely loyal. Soon after, I met her and she welcomed me with open arms. Since those early days, I have been proud to call Kris an aunt and a friend. Over the years, Brian and I became even closer to her and her husband, Phil. We all hung out, played cards, shopped, went to dinner together, house-hunted, helped each other and so much more.

A week ago today, on Monday, October 18th, Kris was taken from us far too soon, at the age of 49. She died suddenly and unexpectedly and it was a huge shock to us and all her family, friends, and her beloved Phil. Over the past week, Brian and I have been trying to accept her passing, but it's nearly impossible. She was so ingrained in our lives, so much a fixture that never wavered. She *couldn't* be gone.

But she is. Her funeral was Saturday, and that day was one of the saddest I've ever experienced. I just can't imagine a world without her in it. She was so caring, so generous, so friendly and kind. She loved to garden and take care of animals, especially her cherished horses. I know she would not want us to grieve. She would want us to carry on, to live our lives to the fullest, the way she lived hers.

So we will try. The sun won't shine as brightly without her here. The world is forever changed. But she would want us to remember and honor her by continuing our walk here, not in sadness, but in the joy that she brought us. That is her legacy to us. Her funny, sweet nature. Her talents and good taste. Her love and wisdom. Her good work and generosity. These are the things that we will take with us, and she will live on through them and in our hearts. Forever.

I came across this poem and couldn't believe how authentically "Kris" it was, and how I feel this is what she would want us to remember right now. I wanted to share it here.

* * *

You can shed tears that she is gone, 
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back, 
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left. 

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her, 
or you can be full of the love you shared. 

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, 
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. 

You can remember her only that she is gone, 
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. 

You can cry and close your mind, 
be empty and turn your back. 

Or you can do what she'd want: 
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
---David Harkins

* * *

So, sweet Kris, I will smile through my tears, I will love and go on. I will never, ever forget you. You left a mark on my heart that will never diminish.
Rest in peace, dear Aunt and Friend, and I will see you again someday.


Ginger said...

Awwww, that's perfect. And I love the picture of her!! She would be so happy and proud of what you wrote for her. Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

That is so true about her. She knew you loved her as much as she loved you two. That is such a tribute to Kris . Hold on to your memories and check on Phil as he will need your support more than ever. Love you!

Billy Slocumb said...

What a sweet tribute...


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