What words of comfort can you offer Kuku's family and friends?

Claire Iseli
I'd like to share part of a poem that was printed in the funeral service booklet for my niece, who passed away last September - it was of some comfort to me, and, I hope, to you: "So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart. For every time you think of me, I'm right here in your heart."
T.A. Frank
I wouldn't presume to have a good answer to this question, given the grief of losing a mother, sibling, cousin, spouse, or friend. All I can say is that the outpouring of affection from so many people and places should underscore for those in mourning how many people shared their love of Kukula. Thanks to you and to her great soul, she lived her life richly, generously, happily.

What objects most remind you of Kuku? Have a photo?

Steven Waldman
Shannon Brownlee
The silver earrings from India she gave me. I wear them every week and think of her every time I put them on.

What are your best memories of time with Kuku?

Janice Huey
Kukula was a neighbor I loved to see on our street and a member of Redeemer Church who quietly lived her faith. Probably the most fun I had with her was when she joined the Bannockburn Spring Show cast -- she was a great addition, not only because she could sing but because she participated enthusiastically and was so fun to watch on stage!
Greg Wass
A few moments, years apart, stand out:

The first was in 1987, when I drove from Chicago out to DC to seek some comfort with friends during a rough patch. I met Paul at Northwestern, we became close friends, and stayed in touch with him and Kukula after grad school, until they moved to DC in the mid-80s. I remember that Kuku and Paul welcomed me, made me feel at home. This was when they lived around 16th Street in DC. I don’t remember exactly what we ate (it must have been good!), but I remember we went grocery shopping and sat around in the apartment and talked a lot, and I spent the best part of a couple days just getting back to normal in the company of these giving, loving people. Kuku made me feel part of her family when I was missing that the most. (The photo of Kuku and cat is from that trip.)

The second was just a couple of years ago. I was in DC in the spring for a conference, and it ended early on a Friday, so I spent several hours on a quiet, lovely afternoon in the offices of the Washington Monthly with Kuku and Paul, engaged in deep conversation ranging from current events to politics to music and culture. After an hour I stopped looking at the clock. Kuku and Paul were interested in--and conversant in--everything. And while they didn’t always agree, there was an evident mutual respect for each others’ ideas and opinions, and a delightfulness to the conversation that was entirely in the moment, and rooted in a lifetime of shared learning, experience and love.

We saw Kuku together on the Glastris family "Return to Chicago" tour in Rogers Park in 2013. It was a great pizza party with lots of great conversation, beer and laughs. Marina and I had a great time with Kukula and Paul and family and friends.

We will miss Kukula dearly, and we are so sorry for your loss—all of our loss.

--Greg and Marina Wass

What was your favorite dish that Kuku cooked?

Steven Waldman
George Glastris
The breakfast, lunch, or dinner that was always waiting for me when I arrived for a visit.

Who did Kukula like or admire?

T.A. Frank
She kept Orwell's list of rules for writing (from the end of Politics and the English Langauge) taped to her wall.

What's the most memorable political discussion you had with Kuku?

Shannon Brownlee
Was there any other topic of conversation at dinner with Paul and Kuku? Sure, we talked about family and food, and told funny stories. But all conversations eventually wound their way to politics.

How did knowing Kuku affect or change you?

Shannon Brownlee
WWKD? What would Kuku do? That's a pretty good motto to live by, and in watching Kuku's generosity and courage, I've learned to be a bit more tolerant of people's foibles, a bit more patient, and a bit less ready to judge. Kuku never complained, and she had plenty to complain about given the amount of pain she lived with daily. Kuku took joy in helping other people and caring for those she loved. I hope a bit of her goodness has rubbed off on me.

What were the most important religious or spiritual moments in Kuku's life?

Seeing Paul McCartney in concert for the first time at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Kuku was famous for "wheel grabbing." What does that phrase mean to you?

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