capture your grief – day 2: who they are

I don’t think it was too long after his death that I asked friends on Facebook to give me one word to describe Kade so that I could make a Kade word cloud. Here it is:


Adventurous is the word that comes to my mind lately. When his friends climb fourteeners in his name I think, THAT is a tribute Kade would dig. He loved the outdoors. Being in the mountains, camping, fishing, skiing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, skateboarding. Didn’t like the city. Didn’t like the heat. Liked mountains, and winter, and cold.


Today we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Going with my youngest son is certainly sweet. Going without my oldest, is bitter. At the darling wallaby exhibit area, watching young zoo staffers walk past, my dad said, “Kade would have loved working at a place like this.”


Daring to imagine my would-be-23-year-old going to work at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo put a lump in my throat and a pain in my chest. He’d look so cute in a uniform. I pictured his excitement telling me about his duties and the animals. I dared to think for a moment of the bright future of an animal enthusiast. The whole day at the zoo had ebbed and flowed with happiness and grief, anyway, as so many things do now.


Kade Tyson Riefenberg
So much more than his dates
1/24/93 – 6/29/12
Whitewater rafting guide, fisherman, naturalist, skateboarder, bass guitarist, avid reader, best friend to many, son, big brother, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, cousin.