Archive | July, 2014

Ithaca, NY Celebration of Kim’s Life

25 Jul

A celebration of Kim’s life will take place at Stewart Park, on Sunday August 3rd at 9am in Ithaca, NY. The setting will be informal and surrounded by nature in front of Kim’s favorite place (Cayuga Lake). Please bring blankets or lawn chairs if you would like to sit. 

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Kimberly Marie Kathan Pijanowski, a mother, teacher, scholar, and yogi, died on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 9:04 pm surrounded by friends and family. It is often a custom to announce the passing of someone who dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by saying that today, “she won her battle with ALS” but Kim won her battle with ALS long before her last breath. She chose to banish fear and embrace each moment of her life as sacred. She opened her heart and continued to forge new and deeper friendships throughout her illness. She doggedly sought ways to improve towards becoming the person she aspired to be. In short, she rejected the notion that she should be defined as someone who was dying and instead embraced the life of someone who was living with a terminal disease.

Kim always found a way to take the ordinary opportunities in her life and shape them into an extraordinary experience…

People often study hard; Kim almost always got the highest grade in the class.

People go on vacations; Kim took a year off to hike national parks and ski out west.

People vote; Kim quit her job and helped Hillary Clinton get elected.

People visit Washington DC; Kim went to the White House Christmas party.

People learn how their government works; Kim was paid by the United States Congress to learn how the government works through a prestigious Madison Fellowship.

People take a yoga class; Kim lived at the Kripalu Yoga Center to learn how to teach yoga.

People are not afraid to look silly dancing at weddings; Kim did an imitation of the Elaine dance from Seinfeld that would bring the house down with laughter.

In many ways Kim did the same things other people did, she was just able to do them with more enthusiasm and less fear than most.

Kim’s legacy includes a bright, precocious son with a love of healthy food, a keen sense of adventure and Kim’s eyes, hundreds of students who were inspired to work harder and reach deep into their communities to make a difference, countless friends who carry her light in their hearts, and a loving family that raised her, supported her, and played with her all of her life, including her dear brother with whom Kim shared a bond unbounded by time or space.

She lived passionately, shared her light freely, danced wildly, cared deeply, worked intensely, and played with her heart wide open to all the possibilities that her life offered her.

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Kimberly passed away peacefully

17 Jul

Kimberly Marie Kathan Pijanowski, a mother, teacher, scholar, and yogi, died on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 9:04 pm surrounded by friends and family. It is often a custom to announce the passing of someone who dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by saying that today, “she won her battle with ALS” but Kim won her battle with ALS long before her last breath. She chose to banish fear and embrace each moment of her life as sacred. She opened her heart and continued to forge new and deeper friendships throughout her illness. She doggedly sought ways to improve towards becoming the person she aspired to be. In short, she rejected the notion that she should be defined as someone who was dying and instead embraced the life of someone who was living with a terminal disease.

Kim always found a way to take the ordinary opportunities in her life and shape them into an extraordinary experience…

People often study hard; Kim almost always got the highest grade in the class.

People go on vacations; Kim took a year off to hike national parks and ski out west.

People vote; Kim quit her job and helped Hillary Clinton get elected.

People visit Washington DC; Kim went to the White House Christmas party.

People learn how their government works; Kim was paid by the United States Congress to learn how the government works through a prestigious Madison Fellowship.

People take a yoga class; Kim lived at the Kripalu Yoga Center to learn how to teach yoga.

People are not afraid to look silly dancing at weddings; Kim did an imitation of the Elaine dance from Seinfeld that would bring the house down with laughter.

In many ways Kim did the same things other people did, she was just able to do them with more enthusiasm and less fear than most.

Kim’s legacy includes a bright, precocious son with a love of healthy food, a keen sense of adventure and Kim’s eyes, hundreds of students who were inspired to work harder and reach deep into their communities to make a difference, countless friends who carry her light in their hearts, and a loving family that raised her, supported her, and played with her all of her life, including her dear brother with whom Kim shared a bond unbounded by time or space.

She lived passionately, shared her light freely, danced wildly, cared deeply, worked intensely, and played with her heart wide open to all the possibilities that her life offered her.

A celebration of Kim’s life will be held at Vesper Point on Mount Sequoyah at 9am on Sunday, July 20th.

Update on Kim

15 Jul

Kim is currently resting comfortably. Today she was awake and responsive for most of the day – much more so than she has been since arriving at hospice. We used this surge of energy to share pictures, songs, poems, letters, emails and Facebook comments that have been pouring in from all over the country (and even across the pond). 

She has been, and continues to be, surrounded by people who love her and we are all so proud of her for the dignity and grace she is bringing to this moment. To all of you who shared your memories, danced in her honor, offered quick notes of encouragement, prayed, or offered a moment in quiet contemplation of Kim – we, on behalf of Kim, thank you.

As you train your thoughts on what Kim is experiencing right now I would like to turn your attention to her own words mere days after receiving her diagnosis of ALS:

 I am recognizing fear for what it is – an imagination of my mind which is not as real as the very deep stillness, peace and love that is the foundation of our existence and is abundantly available to us in every moment if we are aware enough to see it and feel it – and I am aware enough. To be blunt, if you are afraid for me, then you are not offering the fullest support for my experience. So, what can you do to help?  Refuse to fear for me and my family.  If you pray, please pray that I will l be given the grace to refuse the existence of fear in every moment.  I can promise you that my experience of that grace is visceral and very real.  If you do not pray, then just discipline your thoughts.  This is just as powerful.  Do not imagine any horrors for me.  Imagine and see and believe in the AMAZING gift that is being given to me.