Saturday, May 21, 2016


Today is 4 years since Kol died. I thought I had some ideas for a blog post - talking about a legacy, the grand piano we bought with Kol's life insurance payout, the headstone that we finally got for him - but I just can't seem to get them together right now.

This seems to happen to me a lot. I'll have something moderately complicated that I want or need to do (like building a web site, getting my taxes done, filling in a census form, cleaning my office), but my mind just can't focus and get it done. It feels like there's this giant whirlpool of grief inside my mind, and I have to work so hard to keep from getting sucked into it that I don't have the energy to deal with anything non-trivial. This isn't every day, mind you, but it can feel like it is, especially when I'm tired.

This scatter-brained-ness, this tiredness, this is not Kol's legacy. This is the aftermath of grief, the wake of disruption that permeates our lives (and will for years to come). As it is with a boat's wake, the first waves are large and loud as they crash on the shore, and the waves continue to come - sometimes just a ripple, but other times almost as large as the first waves. The shoreline is changed by the waves, in some places so much you don't recognize it, and it continues to change as the waves continue.

Kol's legacy is in our memories of him. It's in the pictures we have of our family together. It's in the videos of him. It's in those moments where I see an echo of him in his sisters - in a smile, a laugh, or something they say. It's in the laughter we share when we're talking about the goofy things he did. It's in the tears we share when we talk about how much we all still miss him. It's in the hugs we share after the laughter and the tears.

His legacy is love, and while subtler than grief, the waves of his love and our love for him will also continue to change the shorelines of our lives.

Huh. I guess I did make the legacy thing work after all.


I couldn't find a way to integrate the piano and the headstone into this post, but here they are anyhow:

We bought a Yamaha grand piano with some of the money from Kol's life insurance. We wanted to get something that would be substantial, that would bring us joy, and this piano fills that role very well. I wouldn't say that playing piano was Kol's favourite thing, but he did enjoy it, especially playing duets and trios with me or his sisters.

I've often thought that if it were up to Kol to choose something to spend that money on, he probably would've picked a giant TV screen, with one of every kind of console, and a stack of video games a mile high. As tempting as that would be to me as well, the piano does seem like it would hold it's value (both in terms of money and usability) over the years. :)


We also finally got a headstone for his grave this past year. It's different than pretty much any other headstone we've seen - at the very least, different than anything else in the Outlook cemetery. The base is wider than normal, and there are two rectangular areas (on either side of the "pillow" stone) that are etched out and have Lego plates attached. So, instead of (or in addition to) putting flowers to his grave, we can put Lego there.

Stormtrooper honour guard...

...and a miniature AT-AT lying down. It was the only way to make it stay in place.

We're planning to swap out the Lego there on a regular basis - some purchased specifically for this (like the stormtroopers and the mini AT-AT), and some built from our collection at home. I don't think Kol was much for flowers, but Lego was definitely one of his favourite things - I think he would approve.


Thank you to everyone who was thinking of us and praying for us today, and for all the support you've continued to offer us.