An anniversary

So…it’s January again. It’s not my favourite month. For so many years, January has meant loss. It started with the death of my husband Craig and then continued, year after year – nephew, uncle, parents-in-law, parents, brothers – gone one by one in the early months of the year.

Ten years – of loss, yes –  but as many to reflect on what remains and learn to treasure it. We endured the worst we could imagine and we lived. Life did go on – in rich and unexpected ways. Craig’s loss shaped and refined each of us and his presence in our lives is a current that continues to bear us.


So here it is one more time: Craig’s signature symbol of defiance. He took to wearing such colourful tie dyed t-shirts as his own sign of hope in the face of a terminal illness. I’ve posted this bright little square for a number of years now in his memory – and as an encouragement to others to share that defiance and hope. Kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. Find the crack where the light pours in.

I’m posting this a little early. Tomorrow morning I’ll be boarding a plane, winging half-way around the world to meet my daughter in Bangkok. We’ll observe the anniversary there – on January 31. Years ago, we reflected that Craig would have hated to be the cause of sadness year after year, so we began to look for ways to make the day a celebration. I don’t yet know how Kyra and I will mark the date, but there will be tie dye. And hope. Stay tuned.

11 thoughts on “An anniversary

  1. You always instill a hopeful light into dark days. It is indeed a time of year when loss weighs very heavily on me, too.

    I am amazed that you are going to Bangkok; what a treat for both you and Kyra. And I’m glad you will be together to celebrate Craig’s life ten years (really?) after.

    Much love to you both. Safe travels!



    • I live on the west coast now – it was cheaper than meeting her in Europe, and she’s ready for some warmer weather. It wasn’t on my destination list…but it is now!
      Love to you, too. It’s a crummy month, but we’ll all get through.


      • Hi Karen and hello to Kyra and Christine,

        I knew when Craig died on my birthday that it would be, eventually, a marker each year for remembering the wonderful man he was and how much he added to all our lives. I still miss him. If he were in Thailand with you I could well imagine him knocking back a beer or two and checking out the local music scene, maybe snapping a photo or 1000. Have fun, and raise a glass for me. Megan

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Karen – I so admire the way you travel the road you’ve been called to take, and so happy that you have this latest, timely adventure to share with Kyra. I’m inspired by your life, and by your words. With love.


  3. A wonderful message Karen. We can all learn from your insights. Enjoy your trip and I will touch base later this winter after some projects are complete.

    Also wanted to let you know that Kitty (Fraser) Long passed away last week. I heard from her daughter. Not sure of cause but possibly related to her second lung transplant a few years ago. Kitty would call me once a year around my birthday even though I have only seen here once or twice since school. A lovely kind woman.

    Take care, Deb


    416 964-0022 Visit Follow @psdesignTO



  4. How noble of you to share your thoughts and memories especially when the partner is not with you (physically) anymore. Craig I believe will always be with you in some form or another. Good day my friend. 💛💛Cheers, Charu


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