MYkind: an open letter.

Dear readers, friends and lovers:

My father-in-law passed away yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that my husband and I moved from Los Angeles to the midwest to be closer to our families. For the past almost-three years, we’ve been living with our inlaws, renovating a home and doing our best to take care of my dear Papa Bill.

You guys, I can’t even begin to explain what a stand-up man my father-in-law was. His loss will be devastating, and I know I’ll need some time to grieve, comfort and care for myself and my husband’s family. Although this is hard to type, I need you to know something:

You all have been my crutch in this, whether you realize or not. Watching a loved one become helpless is one of the heaviest experiences of life, and being able to fill my head space with positivity, inspiration and visuals daily has created a balance that I know has carried me through this time.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that there is a grander design at work here. I rarely talk about religion here, but I suppose Bill’s death has opened my eyes to a larger design — that of the human spirit, perfect timing and a bigger universe where we’re all connected.

And for me, that is the ultimate design for mankind.

Thank you for your support. I’ll be checking in here periodically this week and will return Monday.

Love to you all.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • LOVE YOU ERIN. Just remember, the heavy grief makes room for the memories and legacy that fill your heart in its space. Will be praying for you guys during this difficult week.

  • So sorry to hear about your loss. You should share a happy picture of your father in law to honor his memory! sending positive energy to you and your family to get through these hard times.

  • i’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law, erin. i can’t even begin to imagine how hard this must be for you and your family. i’m thinking about you all and keeping your family in my prayers.

  • Erin, my heart breaks for you and your husband. I hope your hearts will remain strong, and be gladdened by all the time you got to spend with him. You are a giver of great inspiration, an illuminator of all sides of this amazing and complicated life; I’m certain you brought brightness and perspective to Bill’s life, just as I’m sure he did the same for you.

    Sending thoughts of love and strength in your direction.

  • ou, so sad
    im so sorry
    big hugs and much love
    ull be welcome at ur return with much more crazy art & comments.

    (totally, we are all part of some big embroderiement -surelly bad spell-)

    rest and keep strong, and regards to you and all ur family

  • what a wonderful encouragement you guys are — thank you so much, friends. i’m so lucky to have you.

  • Oh, sweet Erin. I am so sorry to hear this news. I am thankful that you carry good memories of him with you, and that you and your husband had time to share with him.

  • Sorry to hear the sad news! My prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Erin,

    My heart breaks for you and your family. Please hug Ken for me, a virtual stranger. Losing your father is hard, even when you know it’s coming, it’s so much harder than expected.

    I understand your words exactly — I haven’t been the same since last October, and just know that I understand.

    BIg hugs, XOXO

  • Erin –

    I have always loved your blog and your personality behind it. After meeting you at Mom 2.0 Summit with your warm welcoming invite to your table at breakfast, you hold a special place in my heart.

    My thoughts and love go out to all of you. My father passed away six years ago very unexpectedly and it still hurts. Time will make the sting less and I hope that happens fast for all of you!


  • So sorry to hear about your loss. I understand what you are going through. A few years ago I was taking care of my grandmother full time as her health declined. Take comfort that you were fortunate enough to spend so much time with him and got to know him well. I know he was grateful for your care. He will live on in your memories and the stories you tell of him.

  • I’m very sorry for your family’s loss. Know that there are a lot of invisible people out here who are thinking of you.

  • i’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss, erin. i hope you will find comfort in each other, in your memories of your father-in-law, and in the times you spent together. xo

  • much love and comfort being sent your way, sweet erin. take time to grief, sometimes that is the hardest part. xo

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I’m sure it was such a blessing that he had his family so close for the past 3 years. Wishing I lived closer to mine…

  • Erin – my thoughts and prayers coming your way for you and your family. Lucky you to have been able to spend such time with your father-in-law. Painful, but lucky. xxoo Linda

  • I’m a newbie and have never commented before, but I am so moved by your description of what sounds like a wonderful man. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Sweet Erin, hugs and love to you. Your family is certainly lucky to have your positive spirit and big big heart there through this tough time. So wonderfully designed that you could all be together these past few years. My thoughts are with you all.

  • Erin so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the coming days & weeks. Prayers are with you.

  • my thoughts and heart go out to you and your family in this difficult time. though i know nothing will dull the pain of his loss, perhaps you can take some comfort in knowing you were both there for him in his last years. and that is a precious gift indeed.

  • so true erin. there is a larger design for all of us. and being able to connect, learn from and help each other is but a small part of it. blessings to you and ken during this time of loss AND remembrance of his father.

  • So sorry for your loss. I lost a very dear aunt last month and it’s been tough. I stopped blogging for a while and wrote a little tribute to her once I got back around to posting. It may not have “fit in” with my design blog, but know there are people out there who have gone through the same thing. Even though we don’t know each other, keepin’ you and your family in my prayers.

  • Erin,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It takes a lot of courage and faith to get through something like this, much less sharing it with the world. My husband’s mom passed away five years into our relationship and a month before we got engaged. I still well up thinking about it, the hardest time of my life. I know how you feel.

    I’m encouraged by your revelation that there is a greater design at work here. I totally believe that, too.

    These moments are a wellspring for new life and motivation and focus. Looking forward to that and praying for you in the meantime :)

  • It is clear from this post how much you loved him. I’m sure he appreciated every day he had with you and your husband. My husband and I had a similar experience…moved from Seattle to eastern colorado in 2003 to build our dream home on 35 acres. And while we’ve since returned to Seattle (moved back in 2006 with our young daughters), we had the fortune of spending quality time with two dear relatives in failing health. I’m incredibly grateful for those few years and I hear they were too. Please take care of yourself. You are an amazing person. xo

  • I’m so sorry erin. you have such a good heart and I’m sure it is/was so good for your inlaws to have you near. I love this quote and maybe it will offer some peace:

    Death is not putting out the light. It is extinguishing the lamp because the dawn has come. -Tagore

  • I just wanted to express how sorry I am for your loss… I am thinking of you, your husband and his family.

  • oh erin, i’m so sorry for your loss. your writing clearly shows how deeply you & your family cared for your father-in-law.

    your positive energy & kind spirit will undoubtedly help your family through this time.

    while i’m sure you have plenty of people to talk to, i have an open ear if you ever want to talk.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Erin… thinking of you and your family… and sending you a big hug and love… xoxo Hijiri

  • oh erin, am so sorry to hear this. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you grieve this loss. love.

  • teribbly sorry for your loss Erin. I LOVE your spirit and filling our lives with positivity even though you are going through this very difficult time.
    Thoughts are with you hun

  • Erin: What an amazing man he must have been to raise that husband of yours. Just think… you have a part of him in your life everyday – that’s pretty special. xoxo

  • What a beautiful post – he sounds like a wonderful man. Sending virtual hugs to you and your family!

  • Oh Erin, I’m so sorry hear about your father-in-law. My thoughts are with you and Ken and your family. Sending as much good energy as a girl can muster your way! Love you to bits. xo

  • jumping in to thank you so much for the outpouring of support you all have shown me. you are such a supportive community and i am SO blessed to be a small part of that.

    thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • just as you were lucky to call him your father-in-law, he was lucky to call you his daughter-in-law. soak up all the family time you can this week. your family is in my thoughts! xoxo

  • Erin, I’m so sorry for your and your husband’s loss. I hope all the positive energy that you have sent out to all of us comes back to you as comfort and strength to get through this difficult period.

  • My sincere condolences for you, you husband and your family and friends, from the other side of the globe. What a strange sensation to feel so touched by your words and your experience. How you will keep on to be warmed, inspired and touched by your friends on the web. I wish you strength for now and for missing you dear father-in-law in the future.

  • Hi Erin. Jess fills me in here and there about you and your husband. You two are really amazing people. I’m very sorry for your loss.


  • I’m sorry for your loss. I haven’t been here very long, but you have always seemed to me like a positive and light-seeking person. I know you, Ken and your family will come through on the other side. Take the time you need, we’ll be here. We’re all thinking of you and wishing you brighter days ahead.


  • oh erin… i’m so very sorry that you and your husband have to go through such a tough time. you’re definitely in my thoughts.

  • I’ll be sending thoughts of healing your way Erin.
    “Life has to end, love doesn’t” – Mitch Albom

  • erin, so sorry for your loss and your family’s loss. thinking of you during this difficult time.

  • Erin, I am so sorry, love. You are so strong. I’m here for you if you need anything. Kisses to you an your family.

  • Oh, Sweetie—I am so sorry to hear the news. I too lost someone close to me recently. I’m sending you all sorts of crazy love and warm thoughts right now, to you and the family. xox

  • So sorry for your family’s loss, Erin. My boyfriend’s dearest grandfather, who was an incredibly honorable, caring and funny man and taught my boyfriend all he knows, passed away yesterday as well. A grandparent is one thing, but a parent is entirely another. Sending you all strength and love at this time. <3

  • Oh Erin, I’m heartbroken for you and your family. Your words and thoughts are so lovely and I hope you can feel the love and support and prayers beaming your way. xo

  • Erin, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    My husband and I moved back to the Midwest from California when my dad’s cancer resurfaced. I couldn’t stand being that far away knowing my parents could use our help. To this day it was one of the best decisions I ever made no matter how hard it was to see him slip away. He will be gone three years this August.

  • A really big hug over the web from me to you and your husband and his family. Sadly I and too many others know first hand how painful it is to watch someone you love dearly slowly pass from this world. I hope that with time your loving memories will help all of you cope with your grief. Love to you.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Erin. I know that this is the worst feeling in the world, and Joel and I are sending you love, prayers, and good vibes. <3

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. Death of a loved one is really hard. Please take care. My thoughts are with you and your family Erin.

  • Erin, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m sending lots of love and good wishes to you and your family. Your father-in-law sounds like an amazing person. I was really moved by what you said about there being a larger design for things–I couldn’t agree with you more!

  • This is the first time I’ve posted to your comments. I was so touched by your words conveying what has happened and how you feel – that I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’. We all struggle to put feelings into words – you seem to find the words for us.

    Take care of you and your family.

  • The death of a parent is especially difficult for it dramatically changes one’s perception of the world and its relationship to one’s self. My prayers are with you and your husband. Your father-in-law was a most fortunate man to have your love and care – your belief in him – as he took the “next step”.

  • Erin you are the sunshine in our inbox – and its sad to hear there is rain. Virtual hugs to you from Australia


  • I know that you and Ken are holding each other close. It is such a comfort to share these difficult times with your soul mate & family. My dad passed suddenly just months after my honey and I moved to NYC. Two years ago we lost my mom after many years of cancer… either way it is devastating to lose our parents. Although they no longer inhabit an earthly form, my mother and father continue to guide my life and I feel their love. The love never dies.

    R.I.P. Papa Bill.

  • Erin, thank you for sharing. So sorry to hear about your loss. I’m praying that the day ahead bring healing to your family.

  • we’re all connected – that’s so true – thanks for all that you share with us.
    xo from paris

  • Erin,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I have lost all 4 of my parents (step parents included) and it is a very difficult passage of life. I know you and your husband will gain strength and comfort from each other knowing there are many, many people in the blog world feeling your pain and sending good vibes your way.


  • Erin – I lost my father on Feb 1, 2011 and can’t believe the hole it has left in my heart;

    in the past few months, the memories of my father and his love has been able to start to fill that space although I think of him every day and at the oddest moments. Who would have known that going to a fast food restaurant or buying tomato plants would bring a tear to my eye. . .

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you. You are an inspiring, amazing person and I thank you for sharing your insights during this time (and all the time). I appreciate your generosity, you give so much to all of your readers! Take care.

  • Oh Erin, I’m so sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Stay strong, cyber friend, I know you have it in you!!

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. Though you may not think so now, you will be able to find some peace and perspective with the help of time. How lucky for you to know this man and have him in your life!

  • erin, i am so sorry for your loss. it must have meant the world to your father-in-law to have you and your husband by his side for these last few years. yes, i, too believe there is a grand design for mankind. it’s wonderful to hear you have been able to express your spiritual experience through your blog and all of your many creative and inspirational outlets. you touch so many people with your beauty. my thoughts are with you and your family.

  • This is beautifully written. Yes, it really is the ultimate design for mankind.

    I am sorry to hear about your loss, but I hope in this time that you and your family grow closer and dearer to one another. You and your family are in my prayers!

  • Your perspective and strength through your loss are so eloquent here. How lovely you are.

    Innumerable blessings of peace, strength, and clarity to your family.

  • Oh Erin, I’m so sorry for your loss. You have a wonderful spirirt and I know you will be a great support for your husband and his family. I also understand how having that balance can really keep you grounded and I agree that this online community of daily inspiration is such a blessing.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. x

  • hi all — thanks again for your sweet words and encouragement. each day is seeming brighter than the one before — i have you to thank for that.

    love to you all.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about this, Erin. It’s during these moments when we find the strength in the people around us, and our own strength, when we least expect it. I’m sending hugs and good thoughts over to IN to you guys.

  • I am so sorry for your loss Erin. My husband and I live far from our families as well and I wish I could see them more. It is so wonderful that you were there with him when he and your family need you the most. I think The Flaming Lips have said it best in Do You Realize?? Sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family. Thank You Erin for bringing beauty and inspiration to me everyday.

  • so sorry to hear of this loss for you and your husbands family. my thoughts are with you all x

  • Erin, so sorry for your loss. Sending my condolences and thinking of you during this time. My heart and sincere prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Oh Erin we are all thinking of you! Take some time to rest and be with family. Xoxoxo

  • oh Erin. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking about you lots and sending you lots of long distance hugs.
    As much as it hurts right now, remember to dance. I know how much joy it brings you and it always helped me shake away my tears just long enough to remember the joy that person brought to my life.
    All my love to you and your family.

  • Sending a warm blanket of comfort, peace and love for your family right now.

  • Oh Erin…I am so sorry for the loss of such a great man in your and your family’s life. My heart just breaks for you. I am sending you all sorts of loving thoughts right now and hoping that you will take all the time that you need rest. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make this time easier for you (you know I really mean that). Lots of love, Ez

  • I’m a little late in this but just wanted to send out my love to you. I can’t imagine all that you both are going through in this and after. My his love be felt always for you guys.

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