Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Kristen's service was tonight. Lots of tears and a few laughs. Her father and sisters and brother spoke. And her husband and daughter spoke briefly. I was doing good until her kids filed in, the youngest son glancing at me until our eyes met and I gave him a half smile. But it was the sight of him that had me bawling. Seeing her kids, all adults now, side by side...

Naughty and nice, yes that fit Kristen. And if we all could be a bit more like her, her brother said as I nodded in agreement.

A large crowd, two rooms overflowing to a back room that only had a view through the doorway. Beyond the immediate family, not many familiar faces, but the sisters and father and brother, whom Kristen had spoke of and whose pictures I had seen, helped me get even closer to Kristen. Just as she had described them over the years.

The most devastating moment for me was when her father spoke of the daughter Kristen had given up for adoption. Kristen was very young, pregnant out of wedlock, a part of a fiercely devote Mormon family. She gave the baby girl up for adoption.

Kristen had grieved for that child, even with a full nest of three boys and a baby girl. The records were locked. Her father said he wanted to strangle the man that wouldn't give up the information. Kristen always hoped for the day her daughter might seek her out, because the records were really only locked one way.

That never happened in her lifetime. Then her father shared that now the man is willing to unlock the records.

I let out a cry and buried my head in my hands and wept for some moments. I am sure the immediate family already knew that information, but it came at a shock to me. I have tears in my eyes now reliving the moment. I knew how much finding that lost part of her meant to Kristen.

Kristen was a wonderful mother, friend, sister. I think everyone
that was close to her is having a hard time trying to accept she is gone. Such a vital spirit.

I have been gathering information since her death. She went off the road on her side at a high rate of speed. She did not have her phone on her. Her car had been at the mechanic's the day before. She was known for driving slow, not fast. She was coming off a curve in a straight stretch with an oncoming curve. did someone coming the other way force her off the road? Was she distracted, looking for something? Mechanical failure? She was new to working third shift, did she drift off the road half asleep? The accident is still under investigation.

One thing is sure. My boss (and Kristen's boss for years) is retired Dr. of Psychiatry, and my co-worker knew her for years. We all agree there is no way it was suicide. She hit a mailbox, a telephone pole, and an ancient maple. The car split in two. She would not have committed suicide coming home with groceries and taking out a mailbox. And she was not the type of person to do it.

On her Facebook page a woman posted a photo montage to "Forever Young". Kristen had walked up to her driftwood fire on the beach this summer in the night, and they became friends. My favorite bit was "Kristen's chair". Kristen and her husband were staying at the cabins on the shore to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Kristen took a chair from the cabins and put it on the bluff to watch the sunrise.

Kristen loved life and everything that went with it. We will miss her. She was like a sister to me.

1 comment:

~Tonia said...

I read this the other night and I just didnt have a comment to begin with. It made me so sad about the daughter she had and how they wouldnt open it up before she died. It goes against everything in me to hide something like that from a kid who was adopted.
She sounds like she was a wonderful person..
I am thinking of you.. I dont know how it would go for me if I lost a friend to death as I have yet to go through that.. But I know one day I will..