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A conversation

June 25, 2010

Courtney and me

I remember hearing the voicemail from Kiki and telling myself not to assume the worst. Two days later, Courtney passed away. It’s hard to say this a year later and I suspect it will continue to be hard. Courtney’s life was cut short and we didn’t even get to have a real goodbye. I often think about what we would have talked about if we knew she would leave this world so quickly. What a great conversation that would have been, even if we told each other exactly what we knew already, that we loved each other.

A eulogy is as much a goodbye as it is the story of a person’s life. We try to find what mattered to them and what they would have said to everyone. When Kiki wrote Courtney’s eulogy she asked me to help. We talked about it and remembered Courtney’s work in special education. It was a welcome surge of warmth in an otherwise hard time. We remembered her life, her story and Kiki’s eulogy bore witness to it beautifully.

Two months later, Kiki told the family that Courtney’s story wasn’t done yet. She had tinkered with this idea of getting books and school supplies to children in special needs programs and was ready to make it a reality. She went head first with reckless abandon, not unlike our sister Courtney. I was drafting up bylaws and guidelines whose ink wasn’t dry yet before actual work was being done.  A week or two flew by and the first set of books was in the hands of little readers. Little by little, Courtney’s story has continued and in some respect, I get to have that conversation I never got to have.


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