Randy has spent much of the 3+ years since his wife Brenda’s death from bile duct cancer figuring out what life should look like now. A former corporate IT drone, Randy splits his time these days grieving, grief mentoring, amateur photography, cooking 101, retiring, and providing tech help to family and friends. He is aided in these endeavors by his constant companion Gloria and their two cats Pia and Missy.
Randy first engaged with us as a participant in our Caregiver Klatch program. I remember from the very beginning he always showed up with a service-oriented attitude. While I'm sure he was inspired by the other participants, it was clear to me that sharing his hard-won wisdom to help others was why he came. When we started the Klatches we didn't anticipate how quickly the participants would start to feel like family. That part was awesome to witness. But then, when some of those caregivers lost their loved ones, they would come back to their Klatch family and feel suddenly, in an odd kinda' way, that they no longer belonged. Some would say they were on "the other side". It became clear to us that what the people in the early stages of grief needed was a new discussion group from us that was focused on the challenges specific to that chapter of their caregiving story. So our leadership team asked ourselves who would make for a great leader of this new discussion group? Randy was number 1 in all our minds on that list. I have always been inspired by how Randy navigates his grief. He suffered an immeasurable loss, as so many caregivers have, and what I've seen with Randy that's different is his the ability to really sit in that loss and fully feel it. Leaning hard into feeling that hard and messy stuff in my opinion is why Randy has the ability to turn all that pain into so much purpose. Today he leads the "Living with Loss" edition of our Caregiver Klatch. And we can always count on him to share his photography skills with us too. And we are just one of the many organizations lucky enough to be on the receiving end of his generosity!