My friend Kay died last night at 7:02pm.

Regular readers may recall that I've written about Kay before in these pages – five years ago when she was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and just last year when she married Jeff in one of the most beautiful and heartful weddings ever.

I've been part of Kay's live-in caretaking circle for the best part of the last two weeks, my life simplified down to the minutia and routine of end-of-life care. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most painful forms of the disease and much of our time was spent trying to keep her comfortable. Thank goodness we were mostly successful.

Now that I'm back home I feel as if I've been floating in a state of grace. There was a one-pointedness to our days, a unified clarity and focus that brought us intact through some pretty difficult hours. Now that it's all over, I'm a bit disoriented and not sure how to shift back to the very different demands of "real life". But perhaps most of all I'm left with the sense of having been blessed – it was an honor to have been able to be there and to have shared an experience so profound and so intimate. It is such a gift (thank you to my patient husband and flexible clients too), to be able to respond when it really matters.

And Kay really mattered. To me, and to a lot of people. She perfected the art of deep friendship and had so many friends, so many people who loved her. A shining example of what a human being can be, when faced with a diagnosis that would knock most people to the ground, she responded with elegance and grace, compassion, strength and fortitude. She was grateful for every single day she was given. She lived a beautiful life and died an extraordinary death, surrounded by love and the tender devotion of family and friends.

May that be so for each of us.


  1. Dear Amy, my heart leapt in joy when I saw that beautiful little latent bud who had the courage to break out of it’s bondage to the tree and put on it’s spring colors to welcome Spring.
    much love for all the beauty you bring to us,

  2. That’s a beautiful challenge Amy!
    Like a dialogue in nature or beautiful environment – that is as far as I can go…

  3. Thanks for engaging in this question, Maila and Ria.

    I think it is becoming more and more important that as so many of our communications shift to the online medium we retain the depth and nuance and intimacy of the best of face-to-face communication.

    Guess it’s up to us beauty-activists! 🙂
    One email at a time.

  4. That was beautiful and it is amazing that someone created that….and you get to work with him…that says something about the both of you. Peace to all. Kim

  5. Actually, “intern” sounds like Benjamin is my pupil or something – like he is mainly learning from me, when in fact I am probably learning as much or more from him than he is from me and I feel like we are equals. Together we are a meeting of mind and heart and spirit; a “team”. Our partnership is a wonderful example of the power and magic of inter-generational collaboration.

  6. We have been with you on this journey beside Kay. Many of your loved ones joined us on Friday of last week at the TLG to hold you both in our hearts while you served us all. many blessing dear one!!!

  7. Amy, I’m so sorry to hear about Kay. She had a wonderful spirit and will be a loss for everyone who knew her. With love, I send my condolences to you and to all her friends and family.

  8. May the Light of Love embrace Kay and carry her to her next adventure. May the blessing of caring embrace Amy on her continuing adventure as a Light Bearer. Blessings abound.

  9. I still remember Kay and her then new husband coming to hear me play at the Fairfax Festival last year. Transplendent lady – with a transplendent friend in you, Amy. There’s love in the air – and you both help make it so.

  10. We are each the richer for your sharing of your journey with Kay. Thank you.
    When it is “our” time to go, may we each be surrounded with the love and care
    with which you and others surrounded Kay.

  11. Sending you love and many prayers on your journey Kay, you will be missed. Amy, thank you for being there with her, I am praying for you too in gratitude and for your own healing.

    Much love,

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