Kukula Kapoor Glastris

Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.

What six words best describe Kuku?

Steven Waldman
Selfless, loving, brilliant, giving, lib-er-al, and chef
loving , selfless , exquisite chef, funny, HUGE HEART, funny
Jamie Malanowski
Warm, generous, encouraging
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How did Kuku make you feel special and loved?

Dean Pajevic
Hi Paul, I’m very sorry for your loss. I met her once over the phone and I remember a kind soul. So full of life.
When I flew to DC for the first time in"02 & they were living in Georgetown , Kuku welcome me with open arms and cooked this amazing dinner and drove me all around the city and show me Monticello. She was the sweetest , funniest person on this planet! She was always asking questions about my life and always focus on me . She make you feel like you were the only person in the world and made you feel so special. I will really miss her warm spirit and huge giving heart!
Anne Sheridan
Kukula Kapoor Glastris was ALL love: of books, of journalism, of politics, of Paul, of those two spectacular kids, of Chicago, of democratic ideals, of the Red Sox, of the Beatles, and to our great good fortune, of all the Sheridans; There are no words for how much we'll miss her.

Others offering remembrances and tributes have captured her qualities and what it was like to be in her centripetal forcefield of love, and every glowing word is true times ten.

Also to be remembered is how many of us fell for the considerable and particular talent she had for drawing attention away from the reality that she lived with a cruel disease that brought an x-factor of pain into her life every single day.

Given the caliber and availability of journalism talent associated with the Glastris family, Kuku would kick me for turning to David Brooks in a moment like this, but read this column introduction and tell me who you think of:

"ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all."

That was Kukula; she made you want to be a better person. And if you couldn’t manage that right away, she wanted you to at least stay a little longer, talk more and keep eating. And for god’s sake, don’t take even a step towards the dishwasher.

She always said that in her soul she was part Irish, which makes me certain that she knows that in our hearts she will always be our anam cara, the Celtic notion of a bond that transcends time, convention and philosophy. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.
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If you could send Kuku a message now, what would you say?

No, words can even begin to express my sadness , but I know your in a warm happy spot now , dancing in the bright warm light with John Lennon. I know your with us and watching over your family Hope & Adam and your amazing soul mate Paul. One day I will see you and see your big brown eyes with open arms + loving heart & that great laugh ! I will miss you tons and sorry unable to flew out to DC, but I know your with us everyday & your spirit with always be with us! Xoxox
Susan Grigsby
Kukula, Your democratic, fair ideals as in the JFK quote at your service were, and will continue to be a living inspiration for all of us who worked with you, You took our everyday lives and showed us once again, how caring, and love can and does transcend even the ordinary. Your optimism has left a special place in our lives. Thank you, and rest well. Susan
Judy Pasternak
Rest, sweetie. We will all miss your warmth so very much, but your light shines on.
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Please upload your favorite picture of Kuku

Steven Waldman
Kuku and Amy
Sarita Smith
Kukula organized and hosted this wonderful, spur of the moment dinner in April 2017. Was such a lovely evening reconnecting with old friends. Will always remember her kind heart, her warm hugs, and generous hospitality!
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What was Kuku like as an editor and colleague?

Joshua Hammer
I'll echo James Galbraith here. Kukula and I never met, but I reviewed a dozen books for her over the years and I'll remember her as one of my favorite editors: she selected books that were exactly up my alley, she edited with a light touch, and she was kind and gracious, with warm words for my family and encouragement for other projects I was working on. Receiving an email from her asking her if I'd be interested in reviewing such-and-such was always a pleasure, as was the entire process. I am so saddened and sorry to hear that she's gone.
T.A. Frank
She had an amazing knack for getting writers to say yes to assignments. In my times as editor I always envied that. I don't recall her ever resorting to pleas, cajoling, or flattery. She knew just how to ask--usually, it seemed, by just asking. And then it helped that everyone liked her. Who wanted to say no?
Shannon Brownlee
I loved being edited by Kuku! She always went straight for the weak points in an article or book review, and managed to make it better. I liked thinking about Kuku as my audience: receptive, but smartly critical and demanding. Writing for her was a joy and I've learned a lot about how to edit with a sharp eye and kind pen.
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Hindu, Episcopalian, Jewish and Greek. How did Kuku pull that off?

Jo Barclay-Beard
Kukula and I were in an EfM seminar together for four years. In short, EfM is a study in theology and how it applies to our everyday life. While I cannot tell all of the stories because of confidentiality there are some I can share. First: The death of her mother. When Kukula returned from India she shared with our group the ritual of preparing her mother's body after death. She (Kukula) talked about the females in the family getting together to wash and prepare her mother's body. Kukula talked about watching the funeral pyre and seeing the plume of smoke rising heavenward. She talked about seeing her mother's ashes being spread on the Ganges River. What struck me about this was the reverence with which Kukula spoke.

A second incident was our (she and I) talking about drinking the communion wine that was not consumed during the service. At one time the chalice bearers would consume any wine that remained after the communion had ended. She and I marveled that we experienced the same mystical occurrence - a burning like a sweet fire that enveloped the whole body beginning in the solar plexus region and spreading outward. Not the "high" of alcohol; rather the burning of transformation.

My third and final story that I can share regards "guilt" and the candle. One evening our seminar group was discussing the negative things we held onto even though we knew that God didn't. Kukula's was "guilt". She always felt that she didn't do enough for her family, for her church, for her neighborhood, for the hurting world. I asked her to take a piece of paper and write the word "guilt" on it and put it into the flame of the candle. I told her the light of the candle was like the light of God - ready to consume the negative. Well, she put the piece of paper into the flame and the paper didn't burn. The paper was not consumed. Every single person in that seminar group sat around the table dumbstruck. Finally, she snatched the paper from the flame and said, "See, I will always have guilt." I responded, "See, the light of God will always be with you and surround you no matter where you are on your journey." It became a shared group learning experience.

So how did Kukula manage the Hindu, Greek, Jewish, Episcopalian? That's actually a very easy question to answer. Tradition not doctrine. Kukula embodied the very best of each faith tradition. She embodied the one tradition shared by each faith - hospitality and the belief in shared meals. Everything important in life happens over a shared meal. Our (Episcopal) faith tradition teaches us this, as do the other faiths. You could never be in Kukula's presence without a hug, true love and if you were in her home - food!

Sweet Kukula, I will miss you dearly and all that you have shown and taught me by your living example.
Eleni Kounalakis
Kukula was my koumbara, my Greek sister. One time, she introduced me around a room full of members of the Hellenic American Women's Caucus like a true Ellinida. Her name - Kukula - sounds a lot like "kukla", which is a Greek doll. She was a kukla - but she was the kind that get things done, pull family and friends together and always made you feel enveloped in love, generosity and kindness. I will always hold her loving presence in my heart.
Greg Garcia
Worldly food and sensible shoes to walk the talk!
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What tasks do you remember Kuku doing at the Church of Redeemer?

Patricia Snowden
Kuku and I often worked together - she preparing the altar and I arranging the flowers. When our then rector's son and a parishioner's daughter married, I did the masses of flowers. Kuku came late in the afternoon (it was a Friday) to do the altar and found me working frantically. She stepped in and worked on the pew flowers with me, but had to go home to fix dinner. A couple of hours later, she returned - with a bottle of wonderful red wine! - and did all the remaining pew flowers, freeing me to concentrate on the altar arrangements. She stayed until almost 2 in the morning, laughing and visiting all the while. What a happy memory!

Another memory is of her setting up the pancake supper each Shrove Tuesday, putting little floral nosegays on each table.
Huda Kraske
Kuku offered a meal for the Strawberry Festival at the Church of the Redeemer. My nephew Christopher won her offering, And when the day came for her to deliver the meal, she arrived at my place with tens of chicken breasts in a delicious tomato sauce that fed my nephew and his friends and all of us for days and days. Her generosity always reminded me of someone else who fed 5,000 people with three fishes and three loaves of bread. Huda Kraske
Huda Kraske
Kuku offered a meal for the Strawberry Festival at the Church of the Redeemer. My nephew Christopher won her offering, And when the day came for her to deliver the meal, she arrived at my place with tens of chicken breasts in a delicious tomato sauce that fed my nephew and his friends and all of us for days and days. Her generosity always reminded me of someone else who fed 5,000 people with three fishes and three loaves of bread. Huda Kraske
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What did Kuku dislike?

Jell-o! All colors, all flavors and in all shapes and forms!
Claire Iseli
Donald Trump.
Shannon Brownlee
Mean people.
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What words of comfort can you offer Kuku's family and friends?

Danielle Burgess
I am sorry for your lose. Your family is in my prayers and you have my deepest condolences. It is obvious Kuku was a good, kind and well loved woman up until the very end. I pray that you take comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering, and that the Bible promises at Isaiah 33:24 of a time when, "no resident will say: “I am sick.”", and of a time when our loved ones will be restored to us.
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.