Farewell Ryan


As many of you know, I have just been through a very, very emotional month. For those of you who are unaware, on September 3, 2017 my youngest grandson, Ryan Kaad, passed away from injuries incurred when his motorcycle collided with an eighteen wheeler on August 28.

His injuries were extensive he broke both of his arms, both collar bones, both shoulder blades, and several ribs. I have been told that after the accident he somehow got to his feet and walked to the ambulance, but once inside he crashed. On the way to the emergency room his heart stopped and they revived him. They rushed him into the operating room where they removed his spleen and part of his left lung.

Of my two grandsons, Ryan was the outgoing one. Where his brother, Nickolas is slow to make friends (and slow to break away from them) Ryan could walk into any situation and come away with a new friend. He was the athlete. A baseball player who during a Cal Ripkin tournament game fielded eight consecutive balls, throwing out the runner each time, and the opposing coach shouted to his batter,”Hit the ball to someone else!” He was born in the Chicago suburbs and lived with my wife and I in New Hampshire from 2002 to 2007.  The father of a single female child, Nickolas and Ryan were like sons to me.


Ryan Kaad
Septembr 23, 1992 – September 3, 2017

I was recently at my significant other’s 50th High School reunion where a poem was read in honor of classmates who had passed on:

The Dash
A Poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most
Was the dash between those years.

For the dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on Earth
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?


Ryan, your dash was very short, only a brief 22 years, but you brought us a lot of happiness and love  during it.

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11 Responses to Farewell Ryan

  1. Connie Campbell Berry says:

    Bruce, I am so sorry. Everything else in life fades into insignificance. You and your family are in my prayers.

  2. Lea Wait says:

    A meaningful and poignant post, Vaughan. It meant a lot to me. Thank you for sharing your grandson with us.

  3. Andrea Lee says:

    So sorry for this terrible loss. In my prayers, at peace now.

  4. Kathleen Kendler says:

    So sorry for your loss. May he R.I.P.

  5. Thank you all for the kind comments.


  6. Ruth Nixon says:

    I read this with tears falling. I’ve outlived 2 of my 4 sons but been blessed late in life with 3 grandsons who live next door to me..I think the loss of the kids in family is the hardest ,one no parent or grandparent expects. I know my boys will get a an extra hug and I love you today.Thank you for sharing your grandson with us and also his brother. I know how my sons felt the loss of their brothers

  7. I am so sorry to hear this. I lost a cherished nephew in the same way a year ago, a man with a dear wife and two beloved children. That poem is true in so many ways. Thank you for sharing it, and I wish you gradual healing and the comfort of family and friends in the meantime.

  8. Tina M Swift says:

    My heart goes out to you and yours.

  9. Barbara Ross says:

    Vaughn, I am so sorry. I wish your family strength and peace in the coming days and months.

  10. My deep condolences to you and all who loved Ryan, Vaughn. He sounds like a wonderful man who packed a lot of life into that dash. May your memories of him be a comfort in the coming years.

  11. Amo says:

    Ryan was like a brother to me and all of us. We have love for you, you will be missed!.. Fly High Brother!

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