Rest in Peace, Carolyn Kaelin

Carolyn Kaelin
I just learned that my cousin Bill’s wife died early this morning. There are just no words for such a loss. She was actually Dr. Carolyn M. Kaelin, MD, the former Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She’s written articles and books, including Living Through Breast Cancer and The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan.

I don’t mean to post a resume, it’s just that I don’t even really know where to begin! Mother of God mortality sucks. In addition to my cousin Bill, she is survived by her children Kathryn Grace and Trip, who I believe are 23 and 20 years old. So young to lose their mom.

The Boston Globe wrote a truly lovely tribute to Carolyn. I just learned that Bill and Carolyn rented an apartment in Charlestown “partly for the soothing water view, and also to keep their home emotionally intact for their two children.” I’d heard about the part with the view, but not the other part which is so compassionate and insightful of them.

I actually talked about Bill and Carolyn to my friends a lot this past month. It was about the grace with which they were dealing with this phase of life. I don’t want to go into specifics out of respect for her family’s privacy, but I was so moved I had to talk to people about it. She was always like this (and so is Bill) so I wasn’t surprised, but I still couldn’t help being astounded. I’m so sorry Bill and Kathryn and Trip and everyone else who knew and loved her.

The New York Times published an even more extensive obituary. I’m moved by all the help she got. Thank you everyone who did your best.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Carolyn Kaelin

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. What a tragedy when people like Carolyn go far too early.

  2. Thank you and agreed. Although I guess it’s tragic when anyone dies early, unless they’re an awful person, who is spreading harm and evil in the world.

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