Sunday, August 23, 2009


Nurse Mary was spot on. Around 9:40, Thursday, August 20, Killian quietly slipped away. We knew and didn’t know it was coming. We were just hanging out with him—mom, dad and Killian. Phil happened to be holding his hand, and I happened to be playing ukulele and singing “Tonight You Belong To Me.” I was missing Killian on the harmony, and we were wondering if we could stay up all night. I think Killian decided we wouldn’t last.

We asked Cally how she wanted to be told when her brother died. She said that she wanted us to tell her when we were all together and to tell her “that Killian is somewhere where he doesn’t have cancer on his face and doesn’t hurt and can listen to all the iTunes he wants without paying.” She also said, “I want him to visit in my dreams.” From Hamlet: “To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil.” At the same time Killian slipped away downstairs, Cally had awoken and come to Cat saying, “I feel awful, just awful… I woke up because this light was flashing in my eyes and now I just feel awful.” We told her that Killian passed away. She said she wanted to see him and ran downstairs, before we had a chance to say anything. When she saw him, she cried a bit. Eventually we went upstairs and put her in our bed. We told her that it was pretty obvious that Killian had visited her in her dream—just as she’d asked. She went right to sleep, with a smile on her face.

There’s a peace in his passing, though we know it precedes a lifetime of sorrow. However, we are determined to provide Cally with just as much laughter and love as there has always been in our home. There will be a public procession from St. Augustine’s Chapel in West Shokan to Bushkill Cemetary on September 13. Help bear witness to our commitment to joy—bring drums, ukuleles, whatever you can walk and play, and learn the tune “Blessed” by Brett Dennen.

I’m packing up the blog now. Thanks for comments: all were appreciated and provided us with grace. And please, keep spreading the word about Killian's Foundation and his album SOMEWHERE ELSE. Goodbye.


Bill said...

Thank you for sharing your life and the formidable and poignant passage to death that we will each undertake one day. Reading your posts about Killian and your family is a heartrending reminder to live fully, take BIG risks, dare to expose the truth of our hearts, love hard, cry often, take nothing for granted, laugh, sing, dance, and trust that despite the heartache and grief that life casts our way from time to time we can find ways to cope with even the most painful obstacles.

The Mansfiled family legacy and the gift of opening your hearts and your life to the world will help inform and guide me through my own trials and tribulations as I continue this magnificent journey to greater enlightenment.

Ilene said...

Bill expressed it better than I could, *if* I could.

I've been thinking of Cally at Camp, and of you all, and my thoughts and heart are with you all.