The end of an era which centered around the Kennedy brothers, Joseph, John, Robert and Edward, occurred late last night (Tuesday, August 26, 2009) when Senator Edward Kennedy lost his one year battle with brain cancer.
The Kennedy family announced the Senator's death early this morning.
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While there are a huge list of noteworthy accomplishments to remember Senator Kennedy for, I always recall his swath of snowy white hair which sometimes was photographed blowing gently in the wind as he smiled and waved from one of his beloved sailboats.
Of course I also remember John and Robert and while there were both victories and tragedies in both of their lives, I remember thinking to myself what great thick, lush, naturally wavy tresses they had. There was never a doubt they were both handsome, dashing young men who were sadly lost in their primes.
Yes, it's probably weird for me to think about Senator Kennedy's hair at a time when so many other parts of his life are to be remembered but through my own personal life I have come to somehow connect hair with loss.
When my own beloved husband died suddenly almost five years ago I was in complete shock and utterly devastated. Somehow I had the presence of mind to ask the hospital social worker to help me acquire a scissors so that I might cut off a lock of his beautiful curly hair.
Of course when I think of departed husband, which I still do every day since he left his body, I have fond memories of his smile, his laugh, his never ending, goodness, kindness and sense of humor. I vividly recall his love of nature, small animals and little red foxes. I also think back to his excitement over discovering a small bird's nest complete with eggs in the bushes outside our home and how he fiercely guarded that nest until the little birds had all safely hatched.
Somehow the carefully preserved swatch of his soft curls nestled in my keepsake box gives me comfort, peace and inner strength to continue my life's journey without him by my side.
I guess my own experience with hair as a source of support in a time of grief always comes back when I hear of someone else ending their journey on this Earth. So of course when I heard about Ted's death, the last of the John Kennedy brothers I remember his pristine white head of hair and how dashing it made him look.
Yes of course Ted Kennedy's life was swirled with controversy but at the end he worked hard to rehabilitate his image. The impact he has had on the United States as an elder statesman has been applauded by many.
The esteemed Senator from Massachusettes is survived by his wife Victoria, his sister Jean Kennedy Smith, and his three children. In a statement, Kennedy's family thanked "everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice.
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