In Memory of Kay Kim's Blogs

Through Darkness Comes Light

—–The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.  ~Leo Rosten


Melissa has Kay's Liver!

Melissa has Kay’s Liver!


On May 26th. 2010, my sister’s husband murdered her as she was walking out the front door for her daily walk.  It was 5:15 PM.  He shot her 3 times in the back of the head to make damn sure she never got up again.


But she did.


And she gets back up every single day in multiply,  beautiful, life-changing ways.


She rises from the grave each time we tell her story, each time we scream- NO MORE,  each time we extend our hand and say…“How may I help?    Utilize me.  Let me love you.”


The same day Kay died, May 26th,  her organs were donated,  and I still find it ironic that her greatest organ could not be utilized:  her heart. They said it had lost too much oxygen, but I believe it was because it is now beating & pulsating inside me.


Our family was very open to correspond with the recipients of Kay’s organs.  The man,  Ed, who received her lungs traveled with his entire family to attend The Kay Marie Sisto Walk to End Domestic Violence.  The first meeting was surreal and magical and memorable.


Ed has Kay's Lungs!

Ed has Kay’s Lungs!

Through darkness comes light.


This week, through LifeSource,  my parents received a letter from a woman, Melissa, who has Kay’s liver.  When I read it,  joy and warmth and tiny hugs consumed my entire body.  It was like reading a prayer.



To the family of Kay,


I’m writing this letter from the lobby at the Mayo Clinic.  I have my final meeting with my transplant doctor.  I received Kay’s liver on May 29, almost five years ago.  I had liver cancer, but I’m alive today because of Kay.


The last five years have been a gift.  Thank you.


  1. I survived.


  1. I was able to care for my sister with brain cancer for 33 months.  I was there.  Thank you,  Kay!


  1. My 80 year old father had lost his wife. Not only did he not have to suffer my death, as well, I was able to care for him as only a daughter could.   Thank you,  Kay!


  1. My sister in law suffered through a devastating divorce with young children. I have been able to support her emotionally, financially, and provide a home for them.  She needed me.  I was there.  Thank you,  Kay!


  1. My husband’s company took us to California. I’ve been healthy and able to support this move, and see him flourish in his career. We travel often, including 2 sailing trips to the Virgin Islands.  Best family vacation EVER!  Thank you,  Kay!


  1. I have 2 beautiful grand children, whom I would have never seen without Kay. Thank you!


  1. I volunteer for numerous activities that receive my assistance only because of Kay. Thank you!


What I’m trying to say is that I’m incredibly grateful to you all, and I do try to pass it on through my caring for others and being a good person.  I try to “pay it forward” each day.


I thank Kay and think of her often.


You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.




Yes.    Oh, Yes.


Through darkness comes light.



—Dear,  reader,  are you an organ donor?  Do you pay it forward?  How has somebody changed your life in a positive way?



—  ED Dean Talks At Kay’s Walk!!



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  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I couldn’t see through my tears by number three but as Usual I stifeled them……..too many!
    Through dark comes light! AMEN !!

  • Reply
    Elin Stebbins Waldal
    May 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Beautiful. So many powerful messages are wrapped into your post… Thank you. Thank you for reminding us that love trumps violence. Indeed Kay gets back up daily. What a gift.
    Elin Stebbins Waldal recently posted..Dear 16 Year Old MeMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Blessings to you on this anniversary (my mom also died on May 26th, many years ago), and blessings to all the ways that Kay has risen up despite the intentions of her feeble murderer.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Dear Kim,
    what a touching post – what an amazing experience it must have been to receive the letter from the woman who received Kay´s liver and to read through it. We all signed organ donor forms and are certainly glad that we did.
    And we all need your voice, Kim, your message and your experiences. You give us hope and courage to show that it is possible to overcome anything.
    Many blessings on this five year anniversary, much strength and lots of love,

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Wow. I am shivering and holding in a flood of tears. I am so happy that Marie reached out to you, and with such beautiful words! Kay’s light shines bright. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    May 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Tears and love and gratitude.
    Elephant’s Child recently posted..Sunday Selections #224My Profile

  • Reply
    lisa thomson-the great escape
    May 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    What an amazing letter to receive and close to the 5th Anniversary. I’m sure it never gets easier even though people say that about grief. How could it possibly? Kay’s beautiful heart beats inside you…this brought tears to my eyes, Kim. Very touching post and makes us think about how we can ‘pray it forward’. I don’t think I do that enough. Love and hugs to you Kim! I love the pictures of you and Kay on your side bar. I see a new image every time I visit. xoxoxox
    lisa thomson-the great escape recently posted..For the Good GuysMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    May 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    *Tears* And more *tears*… Kay lives ON!!! <3
    Chris Carter recently posted..The Garden of GratitudeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shay from Trashy Blog
    May 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Kim, you and Kay have both brought me to tears AND inspired me again today. Thank you, Kim and Kay!
    Shay from Trashy Blog recently posted..BatshitMy Profile

  • Reply
    Renee Johnson
    May 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Wow! Kim, this is a spectacular post. Gratitude for life because of Kay has been expressed so beautifully here. What a generous and thoughtful gift to allow others to live when she could no longer remain on earth. But as you say, her heart beats in your heart, and in all of ours as we read your devotion to her and to the cause of ending domestic violence. Hugs and kisses!!!
    Renee Johnson recently posted..How do you communicate your stories?My Profile

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I find it wonderful, Kim, that your family is in touch with those whose lives have changed for the better because of Kay’s organ donations! Such a selfless act — how comforting to you all, knowing that Kay lives on through these others!
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimonial on the importance of organ donation. I can’t think of a soul who could have said it better!!
    Debbie recently posted..Spring…Finally!My Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      May 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Kay would be thrilled to know that her life & death mattered. Always. xxx

  • Reply
    Joan Peterson
    May 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Anniversaries are difficult but you are making them more poignant with your beautiful writing. I know that Kay lives through you Kim. You are an amazing person- I love your courage, your humor, your raw grief, your inner beauty, your faith, your love and your writing about Kay and domestic violence. I will remember her on May 26th and also your beautiful words.
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  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    May 17, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I am reminded to be grateful. Thank you

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    So beautiful to see your ability to be open and accepting of these grateful people.

    I have a friend whose only daughter died in a car crash – severe head injuries. C’s organs were in great shape since she was a healthy 24 year old and my friend agreed to organ donation. That was about 5 years ago, too, and my friend cannot bring herself to meet the recipients. For example, the woman who received C’s heart wants to come, with her stethoscope, so M. (the mom) can hear the heart beat. M. isn’t ready. The thought of it breaks her heart again. The conflict is so hard on her because she is such a gracious person and this makes her sad that she cannot conjure joy for those surviving.

    I have reassured her many times that it takes as long as it takes – if ever.
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      May 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      everybody mourns, grieves, and finds hope in different ways.
      She needs to find her own way.
      Mourning never ends…it only transforms into something else.
      I know it’s taken me almost 5 years to observe glimmers of light.

      My Inner Chick recently posted..Through Darkness Comes LightMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kim Gagnon
    May 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    My Kimmy
    Your beautiful friends say it all !! I love you and I am so proud of you! You are my inspiration !! Xoxoxo. K

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      May 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      you are truly amazing and beautiful. Thank you for being my “ROOT friend.” xxxx

  • Reply
    Melissa Blair Giddens
    May 17, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    You never cease to amaze me, Kim! Love this post so much and love you! Kay would be so incredibly proud of you. xoxo

  • Reply
    Annette Molitor
    May 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    What a beautiful share. Thanks Kim!! This is just lovely.

    Little Chickie.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    How moving! I have tears in my eyes as I read that letter. Kay lives in all your love!
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  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    May 17, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I’d frame that letter where I can read it every day! So very beautiful, Kim! Indeed you are blessed. Kay has given the greatest gift of all, the gift of life to so many families and brought them joy.

    My heart feels squeezed with love and emotion. Hugs and love. I am with you in spirit.

    We donated my Mother’s body, as per her wish, after her death.

    Vidya Sury recently posted..Book Review: Love Your EnemiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I am sobbing. That letter was simply heart wrenching, bitter sweet, heart warming. Out of something so horrific and painful comes new life and 2nd chances for so many people; and you are amazing to share. Thank you. I believe Kay’s heart still beats in you and you do such an excellent job of keeping her alive so all of us can know her and love her. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family on the 26th as they are every day.
    love you Kim
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  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 12:59 am

    This is so beautiful and heartwarming Kim. What a sweet letter to receive! Kay is alive. With every single one of your world, she comes back into the light.
    marie recently posted..Shades of TragedyMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Yes! Kay lives on every day and her heart does beat inside of you! Kay has the loudest and most incredible voice through you Kim!
    Pete and I are both organ donors and I have informed my family so they know too, just in case a decision needs to be made before somebody can find all the information!
    Love and hugs to you my dear from a chilly Sundays River.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo
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  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    May 18, 2015 at 2:25 am

    What a heartwarming and moving letter! Thanks for sharing, Kim.
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  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 2:36 am

    This made me cry. Incredibly moving & uplifting. Thank you Kim.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Wow! Crying. Thank you xxx
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  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 3:08 am

    I’m crying, so touched by Melissa. What a gift that Kay lives on in her. Every one of you is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this letter. Yes! I’m an organ donor. I would be honored to share if an early death is in my path. In a way it makes me not scared of death since it would be purposeful. And I would love on. LOVE you! Xoxo
    Jodi recently posted..Let Go of AngerMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 3:24 am

    A beautiful post. Just awesome and breath taking. Thank YOU Kim for posting this and having my day start on a positive note. I love this post….such thankfulness and gratitude and living a life of giving….Kay lives on and will never be forgotten.
    debbie recently posted..Country Pound CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Charlene Ross
    May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Note to self: Quit reading Kim’s blogs at work. (Crying at your desk, not good for upward mobility.) 🙂

    Out of darkness comes light indeed. What a beautiful tribute, Kim.

    And yes I am an organ donor, Kim. I hope one day (in the far far far away future) when I am done with this life, someone else’s can go on.

    Charlene Ross recently posted..This is Me: Expressing MotherhoodMy Profile

  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru
    May 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    This was a beautiful post my friend, you brought me to tears. Incredibly touching.

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  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Oh my the letter from the liver recipient is so touching. Look at all she was able to go on and do and the care she was able to give others. I’m listed as an organ donor and when my time comes can only hope most of me can be put to good use to help others in need.
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  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    May 18, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    What a powerful story. I’m so glad that out of such a dark situation, there is some good news. Organ donation is so important and how beautiful, that you, in your darkest moment was able to facilitate a gift to strangers. It’s lovely that your laws allow you to have contact between the donor’s family and the recipients. Over here, the law won’t allow the donors and recipients to be known to each other xx
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  • Reply
    Caroline Abbott
    May 19, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Lovely, made me cry! Yep, I am an organ donor!
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  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    May 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

    This is so moving! How wonderful that Kay lives on through those organ recipients and that they are “paying it forward”. Yes, I signed an organ donor card decades ago.
    Debbie D. recently posted..HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN – BATTLE OF THE BANDS #BOTBMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    May 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Testing. One. Two.

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    May 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Wow…totally blown away by this post. So beautiful. Your dear sister lives on the lives of others.

  • Reply
    Anna @ shenANNAgans
    May 24, 2015 at 2:26 am

    That letter… Woah! Had me tearing up, so much so the puppy came running over to make me feel better. You really are an amazing woman Kim, the way you find the positive and keep on living for the both of you. I’m a donor yes. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I shall keep my response but brief. Your beloved sister lives on in so many ways. Bless you for this post and yes, I have signed a donor card.

    Gary xxx

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    This was beautiful, Kay lives on.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    First of all, I see that tomorrow is the anniversary. I’m thinking of you, Kay, your amazing parents and all your family. What a gift to get this letter, to be in touch with the recipients. Kay’s final gift to humanity: life! How touching, it must give you strength and comfort, knowing the impact Kay’s had on Melissa and Ed. So, very very touching.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I am feeling so happy after reading this. This is by far the best post I have read this week.
    Thanks a lot for the motivation. I will discus this with my friends and family..

  • Reply
    June 1, 2015 at 12:43 am

    This made me cry. xoxo

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