Monday, January 20, 2014

Weak in the Knees

My beautiful wife, K.B., died ten days ago.  I would love to write something eloquent and beautiful but I'm afraid that I'm not quite there at this moment.  I just know that that I need to say something.  I want to express my grief, my anger and intense sadness but every time I try the concoctions of words and phrases that come out fall far short of capturing my feelings.

I have decided to post my eulogy to K.B. (with some editing to protect names and the privacy of others):

I met K.B. for the first time just a little more than two years ago when our good friends had invited us both out to supper.  I could tell you the story about falling in love with K.B. and I certainly will tell the story to anyone who wants to hear because it’s one of my favourites.  But today I want to tell you about the woman I fell in love with and will miss terribly for the rest of my life.

K.B. didn’t see herself the same way I see her.   To me she was strong and intelligent and kind and stunningly beautiful but she was always so modest.  One of our morning rituals was as K.B. was getting ready to head off to work I would look at her and say, “You are so beautiful!”.  She would bring her face close to mine and say, “If you keep telling me things like that I just might start to believe it.”  So I told her every day.  I’m not sure if she fully understood that her beauty was so much more than just physical appearance.  She radiated beauty from the very core of her being.  And every day she would wake up and I would see her for the first time that day... she took my breath away without fail.

Her capacity for giving and her intense kindness continually amazed me.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times in winter when we stopped to help someone get their car out of a snow bank.  I’m sure she rescued as many cars as any towing company in town.  That’s just who she was.  There was always time to lend a hand and everything else was secondary when she saw someone in need.  For someone so tiny she had such a huge heart.

I was always amazed at how she seemed to have managed to reach the age of 51 and she never suffered the same inhibitions that the rest of us seemed to have had forced on us.  Early on in our relationship she warned me that she was a bit crazy.  There were times when I would stop by to see her at work and catch her twirling around under a tree, barefoot in the grass with a huge smile on her face. Or she would drop everything to dance because one of her favourite songs came on.  And thunder storms!  She was like a kid let loose in a candy store with a fistful of cash.  Her eyes would get so big and she couldn’t stop bouncing and squealing.  To me, all of these things made her so beautiful and an absolute joy to have as my partner in life.  Everyday was an adventure.

K.B. loved to read the various lists on  I don’t know if many people know this but K.B.
had been accepted as a contributor to just recently.  In honour of K.B.’s love of lists I put together a very brief one called: The Top 3 Nuggets of Wisdom Extracted From the Life of K.B. Sterling:

3) When it comes to anger, be lazy.  K.B. strongly believed that anger and bitterness were very strenuous emotions.  She said, "it’s so much easier just to be joyful" and she attributed her infectious happiness to being far too lazy to be anything but happy.  Anything else was just too much effort.
2) Dance.  It doesn’t matter what the situation is, there is never a bad time to dance.  If you’re sad… dance, if you’re angry, see #3 above then dance, if you’re happy… why aren’t you dancing?  I can’t dance to save my life but K.B. endured many a crushed toe simply because there were times when we just had to wrap our arms around each other and dance.  I can tell you from my own experience that  letting yourself just dance for no reason will always, without fail put a smile on your face.  Dancing with someone you love for no particular reason at all is absolutely euphoric!

1) Be Passionate.  This is something that K.B. and I always agreed on but she was far better at being passionate about life.  I lost her so many times in stores or walking through the park or just down the street because she saw something interesting and just had to take a look.  So many times when we were driving somewhere she would say, “Can we just turn down that street that takes us out of the city?  I need to see stars.” And we would end up at the side of a country road in the middle of nowhere looking up at the sky and she would be so incredibly excited and in complete awe.  The world is an amazing and wonderful place but you can’t truly see it without giving into your passion whatever it might be.

Over the past week many people have offered their condolences for my loss.  I really appreciate these thoughts and all of the support from people that I may not even have met before.  I have indeed lost a lot and there are times when all I can think about is what I’ve lost.  But in the end I have to say I have gained more than I ever could have imagined.  I have had the joy of sharing part of my life with someone who loved me so deeply and completely.  The depth of the love K.B. and I shared simply can’t be described but I hold it in my heart and I know that she will be with me there, always.  I have gained a new family.  K.B.'s have all become a part of my life and I love them just as if they have always been my family.  

To K.B.'s children: there have been so many times where you have shown your mom’s incredible gift for caring and giving.  We are so proud of you and excited to see the people you will grow to be and I can’t help but love you both.  To K.B.'s Dad, Sister and Brother-in-law:  you may not know this but meeting you was what prompted me to ask K.B. to marry me.  I couldn’t believe that someone could be as wonderful as K.B. was.  Then K.B. took me to meet all of you and I knew that she had a truly good and loving family who helped her to become the most wonderful person I will ever know.  Meeting you, it was clear that  K.B. was TRULY THAT kind and loving and there was no pretence.

To my kids: I have seen first hand how K.B.’s love enveloped you both so gently that you probably didn’t even realize it but I could see how much that love nurtured you both and has helped you grow.  Every day I can see K.B.’s kindness reflected in you and again, I am so proud of you and I know K.B. was proud of you both.  So in spite of such profound loss I feel that I have gained so much more than I could have ever hoped for.

K.B., my love… you were a true gift and I am forever thankful for every second that we were able to share.  Every moment was complete joy and your incredible love made every day feel like the best day of my life.  I know that you are probably laughing and sharing stories with your mom and brother right now and I am happy that you won’t have to miss them anymore.  You will be in my heart from this day until the end of days because my love for you will never die.