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Kate would tell me not to write about sad stuff on this blog. She would remind me that my primary purpose here is to bring levity, because the world needs more of it, and I’m good at spotting it. But lovely Kate passed away this week after a 19-month hard-fought battle with stomach cancer, so I’m going to break from my blog’s intended purpose and speak a few words from my heavy heart.

When the world takes a person of such grace, strength, and light, a vegetarian yogi pure of heart, with no greater wish than to raise her two young boys to live happy, full lives, I have to ask why. Why not me? I didn’t eat a vegetable on purpose until I was 18. 75% of the dinners I consumed as a kid came from a microwave or a pizza box. You could fill Mission Bay with the amount of Diet Coke I’ve consumed, I’m no stranger to powdered cheese, and I like wine, probably a little too much. I’m not patient, remarkably kind, or quick to forgive. Yet, here I sit, while she is gone.

I know it’s futile to think this way. Life is a crap shoot and sometimes our poor choices or circumstances have no correlation to our longevity. But other times they have everything to do with our longevity. And it’s unclear whether this connection exists until the day the universe asks you to pick a straw and you pick a stump. A 19-month long sprig.

She was authentic, our Kate. This I know because she died much as she lived. With concern for others before herself and modesty and sharp questions and good sense and funny whispers and fierce hugs. I wonder now, if the powdered cheese and Diet Cokes had mattered and Kate and I switched places, would I have died with the same dignity? Or if I would have been the opposite—the angry, blubbering mess in room 518, with all nurses warned to don helmets before entry lest I hurl a tray in their direction with intent to inflict harm. In my authentic death I could envision myself chucking a lot of trays. Although maybe fewer now that I’ve known Kate. Known how she lived, how she loved, and how she left her physical body. Maybe I will aspire to be more gentle instead. More loving. More generous. More compassionate.  More amazing in every way. More like Kate.

17 Comments

  1. Terry Stewart

    It’s hard to understand our life’s purpose some days. You helped me see mine on this day. Thank you for sharing your deep sorrow.

    Reply
  2. Dara Goldsmith

    I am sorry for your loss. But her legacy lives through your words and the kinds acts that will be remembered by others.

    Reply
  3. Love Z.

    I aspire, too.

    Reply
  4. April

    beautifully written. xo

    Reply
  5. Lori Logan

    So sorry Lindsey!!!! She sounds like an awesome person and lucky for you to have called her a friend. Just like I am lucky to call you a friend too. Love you and hang in there.

    Reply
  6. Danielle Baldwin

    I think what’s so important is how beautifully you’ve captured her, in her gentleness and patience and grace. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman and an amazing friend. Wishing you as much peace as possible. Hugs.

    Reply
  7. Karen

    One of the most difficult feelings around. Beautiful words for what is so hard to express.xoxo I am so so sorry.

    Reply
  8. Anna Menniti

    I lost my cousin to cancer this week too. She was a lot like your friend Kate. I was just going to write “fuck cancer”. Yours is better. Xox.

    Reply
  9. Kathy Bostrom

    Oh, Lindsey, so sorry for the loss of this amazing and wonderful person. I feel for her friends and family and children. Life doesn’t make sense sometimes, and yet in the darkest times, people find grace and strength in themselves and in others. And it’s okay to rage, rage against the darkness! And claim each day as a gift. As Greg and I always say at the end of worship, “Life is short, and we have but little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So let us be swift to love, and make haste to be kind.” (Henri Amiel). Sending you love and hugs.

    Reply
  10. Susan

    A beautifully written tribute. Hugs. ?

    Reply
  11. Heidi Berry

    Beautiful Linds. You need to get a bigger mirror. You are fabulous. You ground your friends and have infinite compassion. Love you and SO sorry for your loss. Will wish on Kate’s star tonight. XX, HB

    Reply
  12. Jacque Stewart Texeira

    As you have opened your heart and spoken so beautifully of your friend, I take your words into mine as inspiration. Thank you Lindsay. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Reply

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