In memory of Kirby Capen ’07

18Jun12

I recently heard through the grapevine that Kirby Capen ’07 passed away from cancer in January. Her family kept a blog for her called KirbyStrong to provide family and friends with updates. The blog also became a tool to collect literally thousands of paper cranes that were folded for Kirby. After Kirby’s death, her family decided to donate some of Kirby’s cranes to the DC-based Smith Center, which provides healing resources to people with illnesses.

As Kirby’s mother Judith wrote:

We, of course, have been living with these birds for some time now and associate them with the sorrow of Kirby’s failed battle to survive that awful cancer. But, the cranes are also very much about our family’s community, which extended amazingly, and all those people’s hopes, manifest prayers, and caring. People seeing them for the first time in their completion have told us many times that they thought the aggregate of the cranes was significant enough to share with more people than just those who come into our dining room. So, we talked to the people at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (with help in establishing initial contacts from a couple of Capitol Hill angels). We especially liked the SMITH connection even though the Smith Center and Smith College are named for different Smiths…(I hope all you Smith College grads like the Smith parallel, too :-) ) [...]

Kirby Capen's mother Judith hangs the paper cranes at the Smith Center

The support for Kirby and us while she was sick is manifest in this collection of love-filled cranes. We are so very pleased these cranes are finding their way into the world with their messages of love, hope, peace, and healing.

A beautiful tribute to a life.

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