Honoring A Loved One’s Birthday – Frank Kutnicki, z”l – Even When No Longer Among The Living…Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

Unfortunately, many lose a loved one (some may suffer multiple losses) at some point in their life. The inescapable cycle of life and death. And depending on whether the loss is sudden as opposed to ‘expected’, or tragically involves ones child, spouse, parent or sibling – the four most central relationships –  the emotions may vary widely. The strength, or lack thereof, of said relationship often becomes a mitigating factor. But there are common reactions to the aforementioned losses, especially when certain ‘trigger’ days roll around.

Specifically, the date of death is huge. In Judaism, we refer to the person’s yahrzheit. It looms ever so prominently in the back of ones consciousness, even if not verbalized. Ones anniversary, if missing a spouse, becomes more than bittersweet. Focusing on what could/should have been…Holidays are no walk in the park. But another prominent date is the loved ones birthday. How can one not think of each ‘birth’ year of said nearest and dearest, reminding us, once again, that our lost one will never reach said milestone? One can’t.

In this regard, there are indeed valuable resources for those of us grappling with such personal pain. And not being one who relies on ‘self help’ books, the fact that a particular book resonated at all speaks for itself. Besides, having lovingly received it from a nearest and dearest, today, in particular, it is appropriate to pass it on to others in need.  I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping & Healing After The Sudden Death Of A Loved One by Brooke Noel & Pamela D. Blair, PH.D. is heartfelt, written by experts who have experienced their own trials and tribulations, only to pick themselves up from their pain and pass on some highly valuable insights. As to the birthday: ” The deceased person’s birthday is a time for remembering. You may feel your loss anew each time their birthday comes for many years. Your own birthday may feel different. You may wonder why you are still alive and they are not, and it will be difficult to celebrate your own life for a while….Many people find a sanctuary by creating a ritual with which to celebrate the deceased’s birthday. Perhaps you can surround yourself with other people who were close to the loved one. Perhaps you can take a walk in nature and just think and cry and rant and talk…” Most significantly, the book’s essence is crystal clear: It is not a ‘one size fits all’ process. And that’s a crucial component, though seemingly very obvious.

E. Charles Douville, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, in his review of the book, stated: ” As one who deals with unexpected death, I am so pleased to find a truly valuable reference for those souls who are blindsided by such misery…This book is thoughtful, thorough and intensely meaningful. Up until now, Rabbi Kushner’s reference When Bad Things Happen To Good People has been my mainstay in such circumstances; I will add this book to my recommended list.”

So, today, July 31, is a day etched in stone, not unlike February 20. As such, a message to my beloved husband, Frank Kutnicki, z”l (of blessed memory), the father of our wonderful sons: Your birthday will always remain a part of those who cherished you.  You made everything possible. And for that, plus so much more, your family is forever grateful.

Gone, but not forgotten – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyQ31m0zvNY&list=PLeh4IiCHmJJxS_TRyv8x-oiehHvjb2yxE

The way it was…https://adinakutnicki.com/?attachment_id=15659 …the way it should have been…

11 thoughts on “Honoring A Loved One’s Birthday – Frank Kutnicki, z”l – Even When No Longer Among The Living…Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

  1. My dearest fellow mourner, colleague, and friend: Your last paragraph says it all. My beloved, newly deceased mother, with my thriving thrice veteran father, each of 91, made all possible. My father and wife and your heroic sons cared for people like no other. At all times.


  2. I believe that you are a great soldier of Israel who continually tells the unvarnished truth as warnings about the perils facing Israel. Frank is extremely proud of you, and you are a testament to his greatness.

    My deceased wife was so wonderful that she became the centerpiece of my family. The first thing my mother said to me after her death was, “What are we going to do without her?” She died 15 years ago, and on Friday I will attend her family reunion at a beautiful place in the Rocky Mountains.

    Losing such precious people is the hardest work we will ever do in life. I am only happy that they didn’t have to endure losing us. Seems strange to look at it that way, but I still somehow want to protect them from hurt. I’m sure you want people to talk about Frank and bring him into the future with us as much as possible. It is important to us to keep our departed loved ones near.

    Thank you for remembering and reminding.

    • Webb, thanks for your heartfelt words and sharing your story too.

      Most significantly, every time I am with our sons – which is often – I see pieces of their father emerge. They exhibit his kindness of heart, moral rectitude and heightened intellect. Essentially, they value the women in their lives, something they saw their father do on a daily basis.

      So, in essence, he is forever with us.

      • One last thing, Adina, that I must mention in order to close the story: The day I started my first Sar-El in 2003 was on our wedding anniversary. And that day in 2003 started the rest of my life. I only intended to ‘do’ Sar-El one time, but I fell so deeply in love with Israel that I felt I was abandoning the people when I left.

  3. Mrs. Kutnicki,
    I’ve followed your work for some time now, and have felt a strong sense of kinship in your words. And now I understand a little more, about the heart that writes these words. What a blessing to have been loved by such a man, and the legacy he leaves behind in your children. And I’m quite sure he would have the same to say of your loving influence instilled in your children.
    Thanks for honoring and remembering for all of us, with your words.

    • David, thanks for your kind words.
      Indeed,even if I knew that I would lose Frank way too soon, and the pain it would cause, I would not have traded my life with him for anyone else.
      In a nutshell, I realize how lucky I am, to have been loved by such a wonderfully kind man. Am equally blessed to have been gifted such strong and moral sons. I am grateful for all of it, despite the pain.

  4. Adina,

    Having worked with you in support of our beloved Israel, I can only say that the spirit of your husband lives proudly in you. You are a true Jewish patriot and we pray that your vision for Israel comes to pass.

    May Ha’shem bless your and your family,

    With great respect,

    Wolff Bachner

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  8. Pingback: In Celebration of Frank Kutnicki, z”l – On His Tenth Birthday (7/31) In Heaven. Gone, But Not Forgotten. Commentary By Adina Kutnicki | Adina Kutnicki

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