There’s a popular yoga tee shirt out now that reads, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Gretchen lived those words every day, right up until her last.
Unfailingly kind, generous, respectful and loving. The adjectives could go on, but most of you in our TSY community knew Gretchen and were touched by her spirit, her soul, her kindness. There’s little need to say more.
When we began the journey with her to fight the cancer throughout her body, I wrote about her only condition to teaching at TSY - it must be a community class with proceeds donated to worthy causes throughout Newport. As a result, Gretchen’s kindness, incredible teaching skills and generosity have served this community well - from those struggling with addiction to the homeless; to victims of domestic abuse to animals in need of a home, she supported and contributed to more than a dozen non profit organizations throughout the greater Newport area.
In this way, her mark on our lives is lasting and unforgettable.
The loss we now feel is palpable. I can barely frame the sentences thru the tears, but I know Gretchen would want more from us.
She would ask us to continue her mission of supporting this community in times of need, and so we will. She would demand that we as teachers continue to hold space for our students in the most authentic and nurturing way possible, and so of course, we shall. And last, she would expect us all to honor her memory in the most meaningful way possible - by being kind - always - to one another.
Yes, for sure we will.
Gretchen, we loved you well. You live on in our hearts. Always, forever, so close to mine.