Afterword from Kathy’s son, Phillip

Here it is—the post we all kind of expected to happen at some point.

I’m very sad to announce that Kathy is officially gone. I’m Kathy’s oldest son, Phillip, writing to you now in her absence. My apologies if this is your first time hearing this news; we did our best to loop everyone in. A beautiful wake and funeral were held—all planned by Kathy, herself, during her final months—all according to her detailed specifications. Indeed, she planned and prepared all the important details surrounding these events to make our lives as easy as possible. (She also did just really love planning things)

There is one very important thing she didn’t plan for, but I’ll save that topic for another blog post, since it should be valuable to anyone managing the most difficult part of cancer: the bitter end.


For now, I’d like to provide everyone with three keepsakes, as requested by a number of funeral attendees:

  1. Eulogy written by Kathy’s son, Phillip Knoll (me), for her funeral:
  1. “The Life of Kathy: Blog Edition” slideshow with photos & videos from all stages of her life:
“The Life of Kathy” Blog Edition: Living My Life in 24,815 Days
  1. “Living My Life in 10 Days” book for anyone wanting to read this blog like a book or print it out:

Continuing Kathy’s Legacy

There has been some talk about appropriate charities to honor Kathy’s wishes. Her family has agreed on “I Grow Chicago” as the official “Kathy Braier Recognition Charity” (I just made that name up now).

Why “I Grow Chicago”? They operate the way Kathy did, doing volunteer-driven social services from within the community. They’re a grassroots, low-overhead non-profit serving underprivileged families and community members in West Englewood, Chicago, IL. I was able to meet and work with them directly during my time at Digital Third Coast, so I can vouch for their passion and sincerity.

Here’s their donation page:

Thank You

That’s all for now. We’re going to keep this blog running for the foreseeable future to honor Kathy’s desire to help other cancer survivors.

I am so grateful for everyone’s support. And I mean this—you guys are truly remarkable. I lived with Kathy for long enough to bear witness to the love and compassion you have all provided over the years. Please be very proud of yourself for this. And know that Kathy wanted you in her life, not out of circumstance, but out of a deliberate appreciation for you.


Kathy’s favorite vacation spot, Door County, two days after Bill & Kathy’s marriage

Published by


Phillip Knoll, eldest son of Kathy Braier, author of Ruse (a blog that's currently offline), musician behind Inversion Drive, and various other identities that he doesn't let define him.

6 thoughts on “Afterword from Kathy’s son, Phillip”

  1. Phillip, THANK YOU for sending this out. I was moved by your eulogy when I first heard it in church, and I was trying to describe it to my son when I got home that day, but I couldn’t put it together as you did! I’m grateful to have a copy! Your words were heartfelt, sincere, a tad humorous, and allowed us to be open to the idea of your mom continuing her love & friendship inside each of us now. I feel that! I get that! I was glad to have it reiterated by someone so close to my friend, Kathy.

    At the same time last week in church, you reminded me of my own sons, and my heart went out to you for your loss. I thought of how proud we moms are of our sons, and wow, you touched me with your eulogy! I know each son brings a little something to the table, and we are grateful for that uniqueness. I honor each of you.

    And, I thank you again for your comforting words.

    Sue Crowley

    On Sat, Aug 14, 2021 at 12:32 PM Living My Life in 10 Days! ⛱ wrote:

    > Ruse posted: ” Here it is—the post we all kind of expected to happen at > some point. I’m very sad to announce that Kathy is officially gone. I’m > Kathy’s oldest son, Phillip, writing to you now in her absence. My > apologies if this is your first time hearing this news;” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Phil,

    I’m not sure you will get this via the blog-post site, but replying anyway just in case. Thank you so much for posting this and sharing your eulogy, the Youtube, and the blog collection. It was great to see the photos collectively without distractions and I was thrilled to see your eulogy so that I could hear it again. I read it out loud to Avery and he just loved it as well. He thought it was absolutely terrific and very moving. In a few of his exact words…. ‘personal, analytical, and a wonderful analysis of how people move through the world and how they affect us and leave us swimming in their energy stream.”

    It was great to see you and have a chance to talk and hear about your teaching adventure in such a completely foreign environment. Wishing you great adventures ahead as you contemplate a visit (or more!) to Playa del Carmen or wherever the next calling takes you! I hope you will check out the tons of posts for Playa del Carmen on Youtube. It is such a terrific way to get a head start on your next adventure!

    Thank you again for the post! Please take good care of yourself Phil!

    Hugs to you!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mary, thanks so much for your generous feedback! Nice to hear from you again. It was fun talking with you while you were in town.


  3. Phil, thanks so much for your post. I have been re-reading some of Kathy’s posts and right now have found comfort in her last post about how to grieve. We all knew she had been ready to go for a long time and she was accepting that her time on Earth was coming to a close, but even then it is hard to let go of someone you love. Kathy’s light continues to shine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Phil – What a beautiful entry! I know your Mom would be so proud to know you put an addendum on the blog! It was so incredible to meet all the many, many people who she interacted with in her life! There were so many wonderful stories, and each one reflected a different portion of her life! What a testament to her that’s so many people loved her so much!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s