One thousand people. Do you know a thousand people? I definitely don't. But that's the estimated attendance for Kate's funeral. They say a picture says a thousand words but in this case, I think a thousand people show much more than that.
Two weeks to the day that I posted about the fight that Truax was putting up, I was attending her funeral services in Baltimore. Those two weeks both flew by and dragged, were full of raw emotion, exhaustion and gratitude that her friends and family could be together to celebrate her life. We had gone from the high of a successful consult at Sloan-Kettering in NYC Thanksgiving week to hospice care in a matter of days. When my phone rang on Sunday night the 2nd, I knew it probably wasn't good news, and it wasn't. Truax's heart had finally given into the disease and she passed away with her best friend and mom by her side.
We spent the next few days crying, traveling and organizing. We missed many hours of sleep while laughing about how she would react to all of this attention, what she might love and what she might hate. I found myself wanting to tell her about things that were happening, things that we had talked about before she died. I hated seeing her text messages drop down the list of most recents knowing that it wasn't ever going to pop back up to the top.
But goodness, was the service beautiful and truly reflective of the person that Kate Truax was. The cathedral was absolutely packed. Her school shut down and bussed every single student and faculty member, even the assistant superintendent attended. They closed the service with the student body singing "This Little Light of Mine" which needless to say, was a tearjerker.
While there were PLENTY of tears shed over the course of the week that I spent in Baltimore/Annapolis/DC, there were also a lot of laughs. My cheeks were aching by Thursday night from all of the laughing. Every photo album we could find had come out and every ridiculous story had been told. As our friend Dan put it, it was an amazing show of the caliber of people that Kate had attracted in her life. We were all so grateful to have each other to celebrate Kate's life and how she touched us all.
Getting back to "normal" life is certainly feeling like a challenge. She's been gone for a week now and every single second of that week has felt nothing short of surreal. Her beloved Ravens played the Redskins this past Sunday and I had to stop myself from shooting her a harassing text about Joe Flacco. I feel truly blessed to have been able to visit Kate the weekend before Thanksgiving and while I never thought it would be the last time I'd see her, I'm feeling so lucky to have gotten that time together. People who both knew Kate and had never met her have been so incredibly kind and thoughtful, I can't begin to thank everyone enough.
We spent Friday afternoon walking around DC, hitting the monuments for the first time in years. We used to take these walks with Truax - she loved the history of DC and sharing her city with us. We ate at one of her favorite restaurants that night and talked about the week that was along with plans for the future. I know we'll never get over losing Kate but I know that her memory will live on forever.
Truax, I love you and already miss you dearly.
"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone." -Rose Kennedy.
While it seemed a little weird to take a picture at the reception, it also seemed like the right thing to do (thank you, Morgan, for taking it!). Not everyone that wanted to attend was able to but I know we represented Union College well. You can read Kate's beautiful obituary from the Baltimore Sun here.