It is with a very heavy heart that I report the passing of our dear friend Kirk Radandt yesterday afternoon.
To say this was untimely, unexpected and horribly premature would be to understate the sadness of it by a country mile.
I have met few people on this earth who were as happy, friendly and just fun to spend time with as Kirk. His sense of humor was sharp and displayed itself often. His love of children made him a favorite of our sons and the 3 adorable daughters of his beloved Gayle’s son Aaron (Tony Ortega covered Gayle and Aaron’s story on his blog). I have long held a measuring stick against a man to gauge his attitude towards children and theirs towards him. To me it has proven a reliable indicator of their goodness. And by that measure (and any other for that matter) Kirk was off the top of the charts. A caring friend who was never too busy to help out, Kirk was that guy you have over for dinner that does the dishes and fixes the clogged drain and waters the plants to boot. When I said I had a very heavy heart, I really mean to say I have a large hole in my heart, a vacant space where our friend Kirk resided.
Kirk and Gayle have been like family to us since the day we first met them. We shared common experiences in the church in the past, but also shared the bond that is forged in the pain of disconnection in the present. Kirk’s son Zach is a staff member at the Tampa Idle Org, and he has refused to communicate with Kirk for two years now. It was something Kirk talked about often, how some day he would reunite with his only son who lives just a few miles away and is now married to a daughter-in-law Kirk doesn’t know. And now that is never going to happen.
It is the finality of death that is so hard to accept. The opportunities that will never present themselves again to tell someone how much you love them. To share your joys and sorrows, victories and accomplishments. And it is the tragedy of disconnection that this tearing apart of relationships, almost universally without the consent of one half of the family, in the end becomes final and unrepairable.
Go in peace Kirk. And rest assured your many friends and your loving family will always remember you, and will take care of your Gayle, and will ultimately bring an end to the savagery of enforced disconnection.