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Flying free: Kirstin Paisley

Flying free: Kirstin Paisley

A few minutes before 8 p.m. (PDT) on July 1, Kirstin Paisley died. Her transparency to the Holy affected all her many friends. Andee Zetterbaum, her friend and care giver this past year sent a note on Facebook:

Kirstin died a few minutes before 8 p.m. After a day of many of us singing to her, she is now singing with the angels. Rest in peace, my little one.

Kirstin’s friends had followed her blog, Barefoot and Laughing, and on Facebook. She had a passion for serving those on the margins, those without homes, those displaced by Katrina, wherever Jesus could be found in the “least of these.” She gathered a community of faithful friends who met through her online presence as well as face to face. When she was diagnosed with melanoma, we prayed and hoped and cried and laughed at each turn of events. In the end she lost the battle with cancer but she never lost herself.

From a posting by Andee at Barefoot and Laughing:

Yesterday, a group gathered here to celebrate the Eucharist with her, and to anoint her with the wonderful words written by her friend Margaret Watson:

“Thank God for your eyes which saw the world in Love; for your ears which heard the Word in Love; for your mouth which spoke truth in Love; for your shoulders which bore the burdens of the unloved for Love’s sake; for your hands which worked unhesitatingly in Love; for your feet which walked under bridges and among the poor and suffering in Love; for your heart undone and remade without fear, for Love’s sake; in the Name of the One whose Name is unutterable except in Love incarnate… the Name we all share through the imagination and work of the Spirit, in concert with the One who spoke Love in the very beginning…”

There is a hole in our hearts where her shooting star shot through our lives.

Below is a tribute that the Rev. Jonathan Haggar, blogging at Of Course I Could Be Wrong and St. Laika’s, made of photos of Kirstin. You can see the joy of life in her eyes and her smile.

Barefoot and forever laughing, fly free my friend.


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Debbie Royals

Margaret’s words say it all. How fitting and appropriate for this wonderful soul who touch so many of us.


After all the theological proclamations I’ve made about Our Kirstin elsewhere, I’ve only got Billy Joel on my mind right now: “Only the good die young.” 🙁

I was re-reading Kirstin’s post (March, I think) about working on her memorial service: being also here in NorCal, I think how privileged I’ll be to participate in it…

JC Fisher


Thank-you Ann for sharing the life of our dear friend in The Lead. She was true WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get, transparently honest, herself through and through, a human self who loved, cried, fell down and got back up again. God’s blessing was and is upon her, now and always.


Kirstin lived the Gospel. She showed us how to live, and she showed us how to die.

Beautiful words, Ann. The video from Jonathan is wonderful.

June Butler

Lisa Fox

Thank you for this, Ann.

“In the end she lost the battle with cancer but she never lost herself.”

Yes, just so. I learned a lot from Kirstin about holy living. More recently, she taught me about holy dying.

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