I love you, Kappel

I love you, Kappel - offbeat + inspired

It’s been 12 days since Kappel’s motorcycle accident. These last 2 weeks have been the hardest of my life. There’s so much to feel, so much to process, so much longing and missing, confusion, sorrow, absolute devastation. But there has been comfort too. Sweet, beautiful friends and family have been with me each day, taking care of me, reminding me to eat, making sure I’m comfortable…and really I couldn’t ask for anything more given what I have to go through right now.

I was texting Kappel’s sister, Lily this morning. We’ve been texting each other a lot with updates on how we’re doing. This morning it was about denial and anger. Feeling everything in order, and figuring out what to do next. How to walk through this in a healthy way. It’s really hard. I feel angry, but when I play that out, I’m not actually angry…I’m sad. I feel cheated, but when I play that out, I don’t actually feel cheated…I’m just really sad. It always ends up at the same place. I’m sad.

Pictures have been really hard for me. When I look at them, I break down sobbing and it’s like I’ve awakened this earth shattering longing to have him here. Crying it out for a few seconds feels right, but beyond that it feels like I’m just torturing myself. So I made a Kappel box that I’ve been filling with those things. It’s hidden in a closet and it’s easy to avoid.

With all of this…the process, feelings, crying, exhaustion, stomach aches, moments of peace, laughter, shock…I’m constantly brought back to this place of contentment where I know I’m on a path now that many others have walked and survived. I have to walk this path. I can be dragged, kicking and screaming, or I can stand up and move.

I shared a line from one of my favorite movies with Lily. It’s from Elizabethtown. Kirsten Dunst says it to Orlando Bloom when she finds out he’s grieving the sudden loss of his father. She says, “We are intrepid. We carry on.” Like…it’s just what we do. Whether we choose to handle it poorly or not. We carry on. So if I can grieve well, feel it all and keep walking…that’s what I want to do.

I spoke at Kappel’s memorial service this past Monday, and I wanted to share what I wrote with you here.

Kappel was my best friend, my partner in work and adventure, a challenge and inspiration to me every day I knew him, and the love of my life.

Being here right now and having the honor to talk to so many people who loved him, as the person who spent every day of the last year and a half with him, is kind of a huge task. But at the same time, I get to do something I dreamed of doing every day I had him next to me…to let everyone know the raging beauty of what God was doing with us, what He was doing in Kappel’s heart, and how it changed my life.

The first thing I noticed about Kappel was his sweet spirit and his soft heart. I felt it the night we met, before we’d spoken two words to each other. We had just sat down for a business meeting at Pinewood Social and all I could think about was how strange it was to feel so fiercely protective and amazed by someone I literally knew nothing about.

It was like God gave me eyes to see his true, pure self before I had a chance to experience him on my own.

Over the next month, we had a few more “meetings”, and found out we had both just been through divorce and had absolutely no filter about our respective commitment-phobias. It wasn’t best foot forward. There was a lot of vulnerability up front about the wounds and confusion we were carrying.

We fell hard pretty quickly at that point, and after a little while, the ugly stuff started to surface. He expected me to run for the hills when I saw it, but I just couldn’t. When he allowed me to see the mess, it made me grateful. I wasn’t looking forward to how hard it was probably going to be, but I was excited about the fact that he was letting me see it, and continuing to come back. It made me feel like I had this incredible opportunity to prove to him how DEEPLY loved he was.

I found myself in the middle of the hardest and deepest relationship I’d ever been in. It changed us both. It showed me such a vivid and real picture of what God’s heart really is for us. 

Relationship wasn’t just about romance and fun and creating. The person deep down in each of us, the one that loved perfectly, and served, and sacrificed, and radiated beauty and life…the one that we hoped and dreamed was real, but doubted our whole lives because of our hurts and mistakes and failures…that one was actually called out and SEEN in each other. The goal of relationship was suddenly to be more ourselves each day. To be the ones we were created to be. To speak it out loud and reflect it back to each other. The ugly things were simply proof that our eyes were half closed. The act of putting our depths on the table in front of each other brought true intimacy that I’ve never known with another person, and a desire to love like I’ve never loved before.

My relationship with Kappel put a fire in my heart not to quit on the person God calls me to be, and never to quit on the person God calls the one I love to be. His heart for us is that kind of beautiful. He wants us to have the clearest picture of how He sees us and how He loves us. Relationship was designed to give us glimpses and tastes of what that true love is.

I believe that right now, besides the fact that this is a story we longed to tell together…and with all my heart I wish we could have told it together…the only thing that’s different is that he is with the Father Himself. And there isn’t a doubt in his mind anymore about true and perfect love. He’s not just tasting it anymore. And I will be grateful for the rest of my life that I got to walk through the last year and a half by his side.

I wanted to read this quote that Kappel recently wrote and shared on Instagram. 

“Everyone is going on “adventures” these days. Webster defines adventure as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”. I crave to be in the wilderness very often. Entertaining fantasies about “escaping” from normal life, challenging myself against nature, and letting discomfort become comfortable, have become more and more frequent. But then I realized…in a season of growing, in an intensely emotional way, I have mistaken my wilderness. I have focused on the easy adventure. Is learning to be in deep relationship with others possibly the greatest adventure of them all? Is it possibly the deepest, most uncharted wilderness still available? The wilderness of knowing and being known. The adventure of beating your heart for another to see. Grizzly bears can’t kill you there (you’re in luck, Leo). But you can be left emotionally open. Bare. Vulnerable. And potentially acquire a wound deeper than any wilderness adventure could produce. 

Or, on the other hand, the discomfort becomes comfortable. The pain heals. The thought of entering the grizzly of emotion, the freezing temperatures of vulnerability, or the bee sting of emotional pain and healing becomes a welcomed challenge for the warmth of fur it produces when conquered.

I dunno. Just sayin.”

I love you, Kappel. I actually love you.

1988-2016

I love you, Kappel - offbeat + inspired

I love you, Kappel - offbeat + inspired

I love you, Kappel - offbeat + inspired

I love you, Kappel - offbeat + inspired

<3

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Comments

  1. Chelsey says:

    Sending you love and healing thoughts. Thankful you are surrounding by so much light at this time. xoxo

  2. Anne-Marie Francis says:

    This is SO beautiful and moving and strengthening and just incredible! BE TOTALLY AND UTTERLY PROUD OF YOU RIGHT NOW! Standing up, facing this, acknowledging this intense sadness (because yes that’s what this is – terribly, horribly, suffocatingly sad) and moving yourself forward with that is inspirational. I don’t know you, but for someone so young, you seem to have the wisest most beautiful head on your shoulders. Sending you strength to continue xx

  3. How can I be so sad about someone I’ve never personally met? I keep thinking that daily because you, Kappel and all the friends and family grieving this sudden loss are in my thoughts every day. He made such an impact. Know how important your words are. How you being so gritty and true to your feelings are connecting with everyone who reads them. I wish you strength and peace as you travel this path. You and Kappel will long be in the thoughts of many.

  4. This is so beautiful. I love the genuine and openness you two shared with each other and us. It’s so refreshing and something the connects to others on a deeper level.

  5. Tiffany, my heart breaks more for you with every passing day, every Facebook status update, every Instagram. I’ve read through every post you’ve been tagged in trying to get a better feel for who Kappel was. He sounds like the most incredible type of person, and though it’s never any consolation, I’m so happy you two found each other for the short amount of time you did. I only wish I’d gotten to meet him while he was still in this life.

    Love to you, girl. If you ever just need to get out of the house for a change of scenery, please call or text me. xx

  6. Tiffany, I have never met you or Kappel but the tears are rolling down my face as I read this.
    What an impact this man had on you and everyone that knew him.
    You are in my thoughts everyday.
    May you maintain hope for a brighter future through the sorrow.

  7. Grayson Jones says:

    This is so beautiful. I have never known either of you, yet this has brought me to tears. The love you two had is so unimaginable to me & it makes me have hope in the amazing things that God can do. I am continuously praying for you; I know God’s got you. Thank you for being so strong & courageous, it inspires and encourages 15 year olds like me to no end. I am amazed at the deepness of your relationship & I am so content in knowing that God is there through everything. Thank you

  8. Tiffany,
    My heart just breaks reading this and all I can say to you is stay strong.

  9. I am so so sorry for your loss. We don’t know each other, but I know what it’s like to loose someone special your life. I hope you’re able to find moments of peace and healing.

  10. This is absolutely beautiful. I’m reading this and sobbing, and I’m so incredibly proud of you – your courage, vulnerability, resilience, faithfulness, love and steadfast trust in God. You are showing strength without burying or denying the pain. Your writing shows your heartache, but simultaneously celebrates Kappel’s life and the time you both had together. The loss is nothing short of crippling – yet you, like you said, “can stand up and move.” I wish I knew Kappel and I’m thankful for the snippets of him I was able to see from afar. And I’m so honored to know you, and I’m inspired by the beautiful person that you are, both inside and out. <3

  11. You’ve been on my heart every day. I am so deeply sorry for your loss and for the sadness you must feel. I was able to watch Kappel’s memorial video and my heart breaks for you. Praying for comfort and peace for you and loved ones who had the privilege to know him.

  12. I’m so sorry for the loss you’re going through. And yes, even when we handle or try to make semblance of sense of this crushing loss, we will have to press on. In a sense, remembering them, having a moment of wondering what they’d say or do, and surely, be wanting us to be as happy as we can. Be strong, take your time to grieve, to remember and be loved. X

  13. Graecyn K says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Tiffany. The SL community has been thinking about you plenty these past couple of weeks. I wish you all the best and hope you find peace as soon as possible. <3 Graecyn (aka Ryker Beck)

  14. Tiffany,

    I met you both at the lagoon outside of Tulum last August. I’m here in Tulum again and staying at a place you recommended. I’ve followed your insta since then and this morning I heard the news of your loss. I felt compelled to write to offer my condolences. It seems that you found a home with one another and the loss must be overwhelming. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts. I know there is nothing anyone can really do to stop the pain but just know that there are lots of good vibes heading your way. You will go on and it will be amazing.

  15. Nandini b says:

    There are few words and even fewer people who can utter them that generate true peace and comfort. Just know that you are loved here in the physical and we want nothing more than to remove the pain. That said, I know you were both given a gem of a gift in finding each other. Hearts that meet the way yours did is Divine. It will find its way to you again when you are ready. Until then, dear one, be human. Feel deeply, cry loudly, get angry, smile with soft remembered love. He is in peace and love and he surrounds you with it now as you move through this. I send you blessings for healing and distant but real hugs. xoxo Nandini

  16. Michele says:

    Love to you, girl. Thank you for sharing – you, and your love, and your Kappel.

  17. I’m very sorry for your loss and your pain. If I could shoulder some of it, I would. Your work has always been a source of joy and inspiration for me.

  18. My deepest sympathy to you and all who loved him. This is probably the hardest thing you will ever go through in your life. Take all the time you need, cry all the tears you want. Let no one tell you to get over it and move on. You will when your heart tells you it’s ready. When you lose someone you love, every breath you take is painful, but eventually it gets easier. I’m so very sorry this has happened and so sorry for your loss.

  19. Dearest Tiff, It has been more than 30 years since the tragedy that took my beloved from me. The experience has shaped my life profoundly ever since. It was a dark, dark journey, but I found true happiness and true love and I know you will, too. Please, if you want to connect, I am here.

  20. Erendira Monroy says:

    Thank you for reminding me that every day with your loved one is a true blessing. For reminding me that I am lucky to be able to look into the eyes of the one I love with peace. We sometimes focus time and energy on arguments or disagreements that are meaningless. It is stories like this that hit you with reality about how truly lucky I am to be living the moment that I am. Thank you. Let love and light lead the way and heal you.

  21. New follower here and truly enjoying your blog aesthetics and posts! This particular one truly melted my heart. Sending love and an eternal amount positive vibe.

    xo,
    Aïchatou Bella
    http://www.stilettosandstandards.com

  22. Take all the time you need, cry all the tears you want. Let no one tell you to get over it and move on. You will when your heart tells you it’s ready.

  23. The trip and experience looked amazing and I bet this will stay with you all your life. You’re an amazing person and it’s wonderful still to see you write and share.

  24. yes

  25. Tazmila says:

    This moved me deeply. Thank you

  26. I am so sorry for your loss, Tiffany. The SL community has been thinking about you plenty these past couple of weeks. I wish you all the best and hope you find peace as soon as possible. <3 Graecyn (aka Ryker Beck)

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