Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by richvank, Sep 25, 2012.
My deepest sympathy to Diana.
I'm stunned and without words worthy of the remarkable and generous man. We are all grieving.
Stunned at such a tragic loss. What an absolute treasure of a man!
My heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.
This is an immeasurable loss. I am deeply saddened for his wife and family, who have clearly lost a wonderful being, and for our community, as we will no longer feel the stabilizing presence of his care, patience, and dedication. I am saddened because we patients have lost one of the very few people who really cared about us. This is a sad day.
Rest in peace Rich! God forgive him. Wonderful man!
My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
My condolence. I still can't believe it.
Such tragic news. I'm in a state of shock after hearing this, as he had commented on a thread I posted recently about some symptoms. I emailed him a question a few days ago and wondered why I hadn't gotten a reply yet. When I sent the email I was feeling so grateful that he made himself available to help all of us. What a huge loss for the ME/CFS community. Thanks, Rich, for your kindness and endless generousity.
wonderful teacher.........wonderful comrad........wonderful mentor......wonderful wonderful man..............one of a kind. We will miss you dearly.............thank you for everything.
So sorry to hear of your loss Diana. Rich was a special man and will be missed my many in the ME community. All our love and support to you at this time.
Diana, please accept my sincere condolences, and know that i will be praying for you and your family. rich was so loved on these boards. what a loss. joanierav
I was one of the legions of CFS patients who benefited from Rich's advice and hard work. I can't add anything to the many fine tributes already paid to him. I just feel sad that such a vital, dedicated, man was taken before his time. A truly outstanding man and outstanding mind. He will be missed. RIP Rich.
Clearly, this is such a blow to our entire community!
Like to others here, Rich has been a tremendous help to me. Giving me medical advice as well as personal. In all my dealings with him, I always felt that he genuinely cared.
What a prince of a man. It is so rare to see all these qualities in one person: humble, caring, giving, inquisitive, smart, intuitive, spiritual, religious....and so much more.
They say behind every great man stands a great woman.
Diane - what a caring person to think of us in this tragic time and letting us know.
I hope you get a chance to read this outpouring of love for Rich and that it gives you some comfort in this most difficult time in your life.
My condolences to you and the whole family,
I too am one of the many who was helped immensely by Rich's work. He tirelessly advocated for us all, and generously offered his theory to the medical community to better help those with this illness. We have been so fortunate to have benefited from his generosity.
Rich was gracious in all discussions, and exhibited a sincerity with all on these boards. His brilliant mind will be missed.
My thoughts are with you, and all who were touched by this wonderfull man. May you find comfort in the coming days.
This post is by Rich's family:
Though we are struggling to grasp the fact that Rich is gone from our physical presence, he will remain forever in our hearts.
It's impossible to adequately express how grateful we are for the thoughts expressed by so many people from all around the world about Rich's impact on their lives. He loved what he did, and he cared deeply about everyone he came in contact
We have scheduled some events to mark Rich's passing and to celebrate his life. Anyone who would like to attend any or all of these events is welcome.
On Friday, October 5th, at 1:00 p.m. there will be a traditional grave-side committal service.
It will be held at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson California.
900 Santa Fe Ave, Hughson, CA 95326 (link will be posted separately)
On Saturday, October 6th at 10:30 a.m. a memorial service will take place at Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore, California.
348 North Canyons Prkwy Livermore, CA 94551 (link will be posted separately)
Immediately following the memorial service on Saturday, October 6th, a lunch will be provided for all who are able to attend, at a location yet to be determined.
--The Family of Rich Van Konynenburg
i'm just devastated, as i think we all are. i felt like rich was one of my good friends. but i think many of us felt that way. he just reached out to so many of us. i adored him. i used to tell him i loved him after our conversations, and he would get embarrassed.
i thought so highly of him. i feel lucky to have had him in my life. his mind, and the amazing access we all had to his mind, was invaluable. a life line. you don't get access to that kind of scientific "big picture" mind usually, do you? not if you are a "lowly" me/cfs patient, isolated in bed or homebound or living in a tent because your chemical sensitivities so bad you can't tolerate a house. but he gave to just these sorts of people. he gave and gave and gave to our community - he gave his intelligence and his compassion. each email/post he sent to us was always framed by words like, "i'm sorry to hear how badly you are doing..." and "I hope you feel better soon." and he expressed outrage to me about the way we have been abandoned by our gov't and the medical community.
i do think we it would be good to do a memorial service for him for the me/cfs/lyme/mcs community, via conference call, if rich's family thinks this is an appropriate idea, so that everyone who is homebound can attend and share their love and grief, just like we did for our sweet patrick kelly (who took his own life -- because 17 yrs with me/cfs was such torture). rich was one of the very first people i asked to speak at patrick's service. once rich said yes, i knew i could pull it off (something i was not sure i could do). but with rich's support, i felt i could. rich was like that: a pillar in our community.
it is surreal to lose two friends in just a few short months. both gave so compassionately to our community.
Thank you, Diana, for thinking of us in the midst of your family's grief. We really appreciate it.
It has been hard to get it together to post here yet except for pictures, etc. I guess responding makes it more real.
We have lost a close family member. I can't take it in. Rich has been part of my life and the life of so many others for many years. He was sort of an infinitely reliable foundation stone in this sea of confusion. But also a ray of light. Just knowing that Rich was there chipping away at understanding this disease was hope--he gave so much of his life to us for the last 17 (?) years.
No question was "silly" and he would always tailor his answers to fit our understanding. He seemed to know each of us and care for us individually.
We can't express how much we will miss him and we send you our love.
well said, sushi. thank you for saying what many of us are thinking.
Diana, I am so sorry for your loss. I'd like to extend my condolences to you and your entire family. What a shock to lose a loved one so unexpectedly! Rich will be sorely missed. He was a great gentleman!
I had recently e-mailed him a short note about his videos, not really fully expecting an answer back. Answer he did... graciously. What an incredible man.
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