Tributes to Kodiak
posted on
The Bipolar World Message Board 
and The Bipolar Bulletin Board

 

Ben and sister-in-law Marnie

Doing what he loved to do!


Date: 08/25/00 01:45:20 P.M.
Name: Collie 
Subject: A Death in Our Bipolar Family

It is with the most sincere regret and sorrow that I announce that Kodiak passed away at 3 a.m. this morning
after being diagnosed with terminal cancer on Monday. 

He was a caring, sensitive and supportive person to all of us who suffer with Bipolar Disorder and will be sorely missed. He single-handedly offered his support above and beyond the call of duty to anyone who asked. 

To his family I offer my sincere sympathy in your loss of a great and wonderful man. 

Colleen Sullivan 
Collie 


Name: mcman 

 
As well as being a friend of this board and website, Kodiak was also a friend and supporter of my newsletter, offering me encouragement and practical advice. His unexpected death, no doubt, will come as a great shock to the many people he touched. 


Name: kathleen 

I know that I speak for all of us here when I say how I broke out in tears when I heard that we have witnessed the passing of such an extraordinarily wonderful, compassionate, and caring man. I know that all of us loved his cheerful and caring character. We are all going to miss you, big bear. Let us all pull together and pray. 

Kathleen 


I know that I speak for all of us here when I say how I broke out in tears when I heard that we have witnessed the passing of such an extraordinarily wonderful, compassionate, and caring man. I know that all of us loved his cheerful and caring character. We are all going to miss you, big bear. Let us all pull together and pray. 

Kathleen 
                                                                                             


Name: peach 

He was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


Name: Sharon 

Kodiak will be deeply missed. He was such a support to so many people..words cannot say how much. To his family, I extend deepest condolences. 

Sharon



                                                                                             
 Name: Debo 
                                                                                           
For Kodiak's family I offer my sincere sympathy! 

To Kodiak - I know now you are an Angel flying with the other Angels and looking down upon us mere mortals. 
We will miss you being here on earth with us - but we will know you are still thinking about us as we will be thinking about you. I knew you were sick when you were not responding on the board. I am happy that you are free of your pain now and also free of your bipolar affliction. God, I know, has blessed you Kodiak for all thegood you did while you were here with us. Thank you dear BIG BEAR. We love you and will miss you horribly!!!!!
 
DEBo


Name: panda 

So very well said. 
Panda 


Name: Alida 

Kodiak made an endelible impression on me when I first read his posts on Collie and Dave's board some time
ago. His sage wisdom, compassion, personal committment, humor and dedication shone a bright light where
dark shadows fell. A truly remarkable man who touched many lives. My prayer of gratitude for his kind support and my prayers of God's serenity and comfort at this time of loss for all that had the priviledge to know the endearing Kodiak.
 
With deepest sympathy, Alida                                                                                          


Name: ladybugs 

                      
It is with much saddness that I heard of Kodiak's passing today. 

He was everything to us here--a rock, a steadfast soldier, a sensible comrade, a listening ear, a
compassionate shoulder, an encouraging advocate, and the best bear ever! 

He could be as gentle as a Teddy Bear or as mean as a Kodiak Bear, depending upon the need at the time. 

There will never be another Kodiak. He was one of a kind. No one will ever be able to fill his shoes, but we will go on and remember that he would want us to reach for stability and hope for happiness. 

Kodiak gave, and gave, and gave; way beyond measure. I consider it a tremendous privilege to have known
him. 

What a loss for so many. 

love and hugs~~~~ladybugs                                                                                             


                                                                                             
                                                                                             
Name: Tamye 
   
Dear Colleen, I am soo shocked and saddened by this!!! I had absolutely no idea! I thought he was on vacation or something. When I read the e-mail I could feel my stomach just twisting up and my jaw falling open. I could not believe it and I still can't. At least I am happy to know that he was at home and that he did not have to suffer horribly long after he found out. That in itself has to be torture. He helped me quite a bit and especially when I first found out I was bp. 

He was there for Kathleen when she was feeling suiciadal. He wrote to me and I am sure many others asking us to please post to Kathleen as we were all trying to help her. He was a loving, caring man. I know that he has found a better place and he has found total peace at last. 
Your friend,
Tamye-----If there is any place I can send a card or maybe money to a foundation or something, please let me know. Thank you.



                     
Name: Dave 
                      
A very kind person who will be sorely missed. My best to his two children and the rest of his family.



 
Name: Anonymous                                                                                             
                                                                                             
i feel a sadness beyond words. kodiak touched us all, and now he is at peace. he is here with us now, i will
never forget how much he cared for us as friends and family (better than most families, actually). a remarkable man, he will be greatly missed by all.          



 

Name: Lily 

Kodiak was a lighthouse of hope for more people than he probably realized. I hope that now, wherever he is, he will know this. Thank you, Kodiak. 

-Lily
      


               
Name: derf 

As a visitor to this site, I was awed by Kodiak's guidance and encouragement. I know that Kodiak made the world a better place. Thanks Kodiak...Thanks for helping me face my Bipolar...                                                                                             
                 


                                                                           

Name: Richard Sutphen 

My Dear Bipolar Family,
 
The news of Kodiak's death is both shocking and unfortunate. Although we did not always see eye to eye, he was a part of our family and will be sorely missed. He did so much to help all of us, both with his work on
bipolar world and his willingness to talk one on one with people in need. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as all of you in my bipolar family.
 
Sincerely, 
Richard Sutphen                     



                                                                                          
Name: John Haeckel 

Kodiak's deep caring and support has made him someone I will always look up to and admire. I am going to
miss him is everyone.  my deepest sympathy go out to his children and family. 

Sincerly, 
John Haeckel                                                                                             
            



                                                                               
Name: artgirl 

Collie, i am just so sad. when i first got an email earlier today i could not believe it. i just cried and cried for a
half an hour. if he is such a great loss to me and i have only known him for a few months, you must be feeling a terrible sadness. i just want to give you some hugs ((((((((((((((Collie)))))))))))) 
and hugs to everyone else at our board 
(((((((((((((((((((bipolar world)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) 
i responded to Pauls message above and sent my love to his family but 
Is there anything else we can do??? 
i dont know what, but there must be someway to do something for his family as a community? 

love, artgirl 
    


Name: Paul Kalkstein
Subject: Sad News about Kodiak

I need to report to you that my brother, Ben Kalkstein (Kodiak), passed away at his parents' home early Friday morning, August 25, his 50th birthday. Ben died of a virulent liver cancer. He was under Hospice care and not in pain. I was present at his peaceful death. 

I know that Ben, who loved this group, sends you his love and his blessing.


Name: Anonymous 

for the family, deepest sympathy. May you all receive comfort from God himself to help guide, strenghten and keep you in his tender care. 


Name: Colleen Sullivan (Collie) 

Dear Paul, 

As the owner of the Bipolar World web site I wish to thank you for thinking of us in your time of grief and convey our sincere sympathy to you and your family in this time of sorrow. 

Ben was the monitor of the message board forum here for the past two years and in that time has supported
many individuals with Bipolar Disorder and their families, and made many friends. His no-nonsense approach to medical compliance in the treatment of the illness, combined with warmth and a personal strength of character has made him respected and loved throughout the Bipolar community. He will be sadly missed, and we will continue his work here to the best of our ability as we know he would have wanted us to. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Colleen (Collie) 


Name: Loretta 

I had no idea he was sick! What sad news. Although I am new to the group, Kodiak helped me to understand my daughters bp and gave me advice and encouragement! What a great man! He even defended me on one particular post! I have a lot of respect for him. He will be surly missed.


Name: peach 

I am so sorry to hear of Kodiak's death. He touched so many lives. I am glad I was able to know him, for he was a wonderful person. May God comfort you in these times of sorrow. 


Name: Anonymous        

my thoughts and prayers are with his family i know he was a great man and touched many lives including mine if it was not for him i would not be alive today and engaged to my fiance i owed my life too him. my greatest sympathy
 
luv 
kat 


Name: Ann Marie 

My Bipolar Family, 

I have read the posts now a hundred times, still unable to believe my eyes. The tears flowed when I first read Collie's post of Kodiak's passing. I have linger on this board off and on for nearly a year, in that time Kodiak never left me, he would email when I disappeared for awhile, and when I was in my time of need where depression had gotten the best of me, he emailed every day, just to say he cared and to give me a slight pick me up through that day. E-mails a small gesture yes, but each one meant the world to me, and often they were the one thing to make me crawl out of bed and live for that day. Ben was and is a wonderful man, though his physical form no longer will be with us, his words, his spirit and the way he touched each one of us will live forever. It is so hard to believe that a wonderful man, such as he has been taken from this earth, but it was his time, and I believe somewhere and somehow he is watching over us, and still helping us, his words helping us to move on. 
Indeed I feel great sorrow for his death, but his life, the way he helped and touched each and everyone of us is one to be celebrated. I loved the man I knew as Kodiak, loved him for the way he was much like a father with a guiding hand, that could be harsh at times, yes but ever so comforting, he knew what to say, and how to help in times of need. My thoughts and prayer to his family, both in real life and here, and my thanks to him for showing me so many times how much I was needed. 
Ben, Kodiak, I know you watch over us now, and I pray you know that this young ladies love for you is strong, you were the rock I needed in hard times and the cuddly teddy bear when I just needed to cry. The laughter you gave to me, when I could barely even manage a smile was so welcomed. Please be blessed and at peace knowing we all love and will miss you. 

Thank you Kodiak, for all that you are, your memory lives in me and so many others. 

Ann Marie


Name: Kathleen Dowling 

Paul,
 
I am so sorry to you and your family for your loss. Ben was truely a wonderful and inspirational person. There was a time a few months back where I was very suicidal, and he rallied the others as a blanket of support, which ended up pulling me through. I owe my life to him, among many others, and I have seen his exceptional caring first hand. I pray that his heavenly spirit can comfort you in your time of mourning. 
    
Love and Respect, 
Kathleen Dowling


Name: Deborah 

Dear Paul-

Thankyou for writing to us in this time of great grief to you. 
Your brother was so greatly loved by so many people. He supported 
each and every one of us on this board and I am sure he touched 
the lives of all those he came into contact with in a most uplifting and joyous way. 
We will miss him so very much. My sincere sympathy to you and the rest of his family 
during this sorrowful time. 

Most Sincerely, 
Deborah K. Fisher (DEBo)


Name: jimijames 

Paul, my deepest sympathy to you and Yours, God loves You. 
Kodiak, I know your out in the woods, comfortably eating away on your nuts and berries..........I'll miss You
sooooooo much
 
Love, Jim


Name: John Haeckel 

Dear Paul,
 
You and Kodiak Ben's family have my deepest sympathy and I too will miss Kodiak. I have the highest respect for him and greatly admired him, he was always there when someone was in need of his help. 

Sincerely, 
John Haeckel


Name: artgirl 

Dear Paul, 

thank you for telling us about your brother. I hope your family finds some comfort in the outpouring of love for Kodiak. 

he made me feel very welcome here and helped me to sort out much of my confusion with a bipolar diagnosis. he made a special effort to check out another site for me when i questioned whether or not it was a safe site. i first came in may and he has been such a source of guidance, love and kindness. 

I am truly sorry for your loss 
artgirl


Name: Cheryl 
 
My heart goes out to your Family Paul and for the loss of a wonderful human being! He was so Great a man on this site! He will be greatly remembered and missed...He had a very special connection with everyone here at BP World...My prayers will be with you and your family for your loss....God Bless to you and Ben your wonderful brother. 

Love, Cheryl


Name: BST 

The presence of Kodiak has been around for as long as I and many others have been visiting these BP
support boards. He had many areas of expertise and to get a post from him was in many ways an honor. We
collectively will miss his wisdom, wit, compassion and friendship. He was so giving that he must have chosen not to share the burden he carried of his own health issues. I can't remember ever reading a post from Kodiak revealing what he faced personally. He was a wonderful soul and he will definitely be missed but never forgotten. 


Name: ana 

Thanks a lot to Kodiak for the wonderful job he did, always making you feel company and near. He was a lovely person.We really going to miss him.
 
Love and prayers for him and his family. 


Name: Kathleen Dowling 

As most of you know, an extremely emotional time sets me off on some search on how to express it.
Yesterday, after reading the news of Ben's untimely death, I sat down and thought long and hard about what hemeant to all of us here in his "family", all of us who post here. Thus, this poem was born. Hugs to you all. 

    Today I felt your sould set sea 
    Do you hear the weeping of your "family?" 
    Your body cast off 
    A useless shell


Name: Sesal 
    Goodbye Kodiak and God bless! 

    You were loved so deeply 
    so sweetly, so much. 
    We loved to hear your voice, 
    and the feelings from your touch. 
    Your smile was so bright, 
    like the suns daylight. 
    You had a kind thoughtful way, 
    that brought joy to us everyday. 
    We will always love you, 
    like we loved you before. 
    You will always be with us, 
    in our hearts, bodies and souls. 
    Good-bye and thank you! 
    Thank you for all you have done. 
    We pray that you rest in peace, 
    with the father and his son. 
 

    Author unknown


Kodiak My Friend!

I had the priveledge of being able to chat online many hours with Kodiak. When the ability for him to stay online during work was eliminated, it was a very sad day for me 

When I was doing poorly due to My Bipolar, I had recieved Phone calls from him to talk, and help me thru things. Just a few weeks back I knew he was feeling down, I now am glad I was able to call and talk to him, and yet going thru his tough times he still gave advice and wouldn't let his condition show! This was just one more way he showed his caring for others in his unselfish way!

He cared very much for everyone here, and was a very giving person of his time to help others. A while back he spent many hours talking to Kim, from work and home while she was having troubles, he also saw the need to give me her emergency numbers as he was going to be gone that day for a few hours, it is really because of Kodiak that Kim is with us today.

There was the weeks off of his regular job that were spent on a Marine Research Vesel. This was a very enjoyable time for him, and a break from the regular world for a week or two.

To know that some of this mans life were not always pleasant because of the Bipolar, yet he was an example we all should follow, even if we can't replace the wit, we can all try and live our lives the way he did! 
      
What This World Needs Is More Kodiaks!!!!
My Dear Friend You Are Loved And Missed!! 

Allen



 

For Kodiak - Thank You Schatzie

photo by Schatzie
Portland Headlight, Maine
2000

      I'll paint you a rainbow
 

      I'll paint you a rainbow as a gift from me,

      then hang it from heaven for the whole world to see.

      on a canvas of love I'll cover your fears,

      with a soft brush I'll dry all your tears.

      I'll paint you a rainbow with feelings so deep,

      my stroke will be gentle, my touch you may keep.

      On a palette of words i will tenderly blend,

      colorful thoughts with bright verses to send.

      I'll paint you a rainbow in reds, blues and gold,

      stretched like loving arms ready to enfold.

      and deep in the center of the most vibrant hue,

      I'll etch from memory the essence of you.

      I'll paint you a rainbow, a bridge to my heart,

      so loneliness and pain can begin to depart.

      just look up at the sky when life hits a bend,

      I painted a rainbow for YOU my friend.
 
 

      Athor unknown

      In memoriam of our dear friend, Benjamin (Kodiak)



     
Jere sends his condolenses to Kodiak's family. He was a personal help in times of need with legal advice and valued his friendship and will be deeply missed. 

Peach posting for Jere 



 

I just found out, less than one hour ago that our dear friend Kodiak, my very dear and close friend for the past three years, Ben K., passed on this morning of cancer, for which he was diagnosed on Monday.

Please forgive me if I cannot come up with anything particularly inspiring or eloquent to say for I am still in shock. But I will post here a passage from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran.

      Then Almira spoke, saying We would now ask of Death.
      And he said:
      You would know the secret of death.
      But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
      The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
      If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
      For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

      In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
      And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
      Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
      Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon
      him in honour.
      Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
      Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

      For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
      And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek
      God unencumbered?

      Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
      And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
      And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

      Kahill Gibran
      The Prophet

Dearest Ben, if you are indeed dancing right now, please let us dance with you. Your sufferings are over and for that I rejoice. But I shall miss you terribly my dear friend. For there truly was no one like you.

Goodbye dear. We shall meet again someday, I promise.

All my love,

Dianne


He was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. He was such an inspiration to so many. My thoughts and
prayers are with his family. 

Peach 


I am also in shock. Kodiak was always there for moral support and more than willing to go that extra mile with any legal advice or research that we could use. I know that his personal e-mails throughout my workplace ordeal were priceless. We have lost a great friend here at the board - I will truly miss him!!! Sending prayers for you, Great Bear!!! 

d2 


Kodiak will be sadly missed by all. He was a great help to many people and his kindness will never be forgotten.

I am glad that your suffering is over Kodiak. You deserve to be in peace.

I send my condolenses to his family.

Sharon


      "Take up the song; forget the epitaph."
      --Edna St. Vincent Millay

Kodiak was a bright star of hope to all those on this BB and throughout the Net mental health community. 

Through his passion for mental health and the environment and his position to make a difference, Kodiak touched
innumerable lives. 

Now, we must pledge to claim his unfinished journey as our own and continue the quest for good common sense about this disorder of ours; and try to be to someone in need what Kodiak might have been.

That way, through hearts and heads in need, Kodiak will truly live forever.

Earhart/Cat 
 


I don't know what to say. Thanks for poststing. He was a great person. I',m driving up up to Allen's and will tell
him.....Liz



 

      "Home is the sailor, home from the sea."

      Stewart 


      I'm terribly sorry to read of this departure from earth. I hope he is well wherever he is. Take care. :.-( 

      dhp 


I would like to extend my sympathy to Kodiaks family. I know he had some children and I just hope and pray that they are taking this shock well. I, also, am so happy that he did not have to suffer long after he found out. I think that part in itself is torture. He was indeed a very good person. He helped so many people, me one of them. When I was first diagnosed with bp he was there for me guiding me through. He has found that elusive peace at last. My prayers, Tamye

Tamye



 

Thank you Dianne for sharing "The Prophet" with us...this is one of my favorite books.

I have thought a long time about my post today for this message, as I found out about this great loss to our bipolar community earlier...

I couldn't seem to come up with the right words...so I'll re-post the ones I meant for his mother and will keep her and his family in my constant prayer tonight!!!

Miralcles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.

      (A Course in Miracles Ch1 Verse3)

THANK YOU KODIAK FOR SAHRING THE MIRACLE OF LOVE WITH US AND TEACHING US TO SHARE IT AS WELL!!!

thoughts & prayers

kaycee


      I am in total shock. Felt "shivers" throughout my whole body when reading Dianne's post.

      Kokiak, we all know you are around us spiritually. This passage is for you and all of us left behind.....

      Which Part Of Him Went To Heaven?

      Lord...dear Lord
      Which part of him went to heaven?
      My heart cries out to know.
      Was it his laughing eyes?
      His sandy hair?
      His boyish grin?
      But, Lord-
      I saw them put that part of him
      Far, far beneath the black earth.

      Was it his awareness, Lord?
      That part of him
      That chose blue ties
      And rare steaks
      And symphonies?
      Even that part that
      Worried
      Struggled
      Dreamed?
      Perhaps-
      But his blue ties look drab
      As they hang without life
      And symphonies sound like funeral songs.

      O dear Lord
      I so long to know:
      Which part of him went to heaven?

      Was it is intesne conviction?
      His secret longings?
      The challenges he so nobly accepted?

      Was it his ever-deepening belief
      That life has significance-
      That You are total Reality?

      Please tell me, Lord
      Which part of him went to Heaven?
      Written by: Ruth Harms Calkin
 

      I will....receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).
 

      Enjoy paradise, Kodiak!
 

      Schatzie 


      May God keep your soul, dear Kodiak. May you rest in peace 

      nus2me 


I am deeply saddened by our dear friend's passing. He will be missed by all of us. As I read through these beautiful tributes, I was comforted. I am grateful to Kodiak for all his contributions to our online family and feel priveledged to have known him through that community. He did much to help us grow and keep us together. It is good that we can mourn this loss together.

Love,
Stephanie 


 
      I truly feel the loss of Kodiak, since he was a wise and comforting voice on this board.

      The above poem could not have said it better. 

      persephone 



 

      From the very first time I read Kodiak's post a few years ago on Collie and Dave's board, I was in awe of his wisdom, compassion, honesty, humor, integrity and personal commitment to helping others. 

      Admist the shock and sorrow and tears comes a heart filled with gratitude of the gifts he gave to so many. We were not given the opportunity to say goodbye to our dear beloved Kodiak, no final bear hug, yet in my heart I know, the angels sent our love and gratitude to him and give thanks to God for all the remarkable ways he touched the lives of so many. I shall never forget you Kodiak. 

May God comfort and console us all in our grieving.

Alida


A most knowledgeable man ....... Kodiak
 
I was shocked and very sad to learn of the passing away of our dear friend Kodiak.
      
He is the most knowledgeable man I have known.He answered to all mails asking about side effects of psychiatric medications.
      
As a medical practitioner.I myself was sometimes astonished by his answers being so much in depth and accurate. I once asked him if he is also in the medical profession. He said no..but he enjoys reading a lot.
      
We all miss him and his contributions to this message board.Fortunately, we still have Dianne, Allen, Kaycee, and many others who contribute to keep this board going.
      
Thank you very much. You never know that there are people like me who is benefitted from your work,,,,,only silently 

philip


I'm so sorry about Kodiak

I sure was sorry to hear about Kodiak. I always enjoyed reading his advice, and he always had good, sound advice. I followed it a few times myself. I'll sure miss him being around. If anyone has his family address, please tell them I sure am sorry, and I will miss him. 

Brenda


Dearest Kodiak......you will be missed........
 
I haven't been online in awhile. I was so shocked to find out that our dear friend Kodiak has left this world for a better one. I will miss him so much. He helped me out last year by emailing me and calling me when I was so down. He also helped me with several people who were suicidal. I am so sorry he is no longer here but relieved he is no longer in pain and sick. My heart goes out to his dear family. My love to you Kodiak, ole friend..........see you in the next level........ 

Jacque


Boy! I am still reeling from the shock.Kodiak emailed me just a few weeks ago to see how I was and to tell me
to get my fanny back on the board. I feel very sad, but reading his families' posts and knowing how much he
was loved makes me feel better. He was a wonderful blend of witty, insightful, tough , gentle and wise wasn't
he? I was always so comforted knowing that he shared this illness with us becasue it gave me a standard of
dignity and respect to strive for that is very easiy to lose when you are bipolar and get into the messes than we
do.He chewed me out a few times when I was mean and manic and deleted posts when I was delusional. He
emailed me privately several times to see how I was and when I took a break from the board I heard from him
every few weeks. He made me laugh with his dry wit and helped me understand for myself the importance of
medical compliance.Occasionaaly he shared his personal struggles with us and I held on to those bits of info
like gold. I remember when I was so sick amd trying to decide whther it was ok to go on SSI and he wrote me
the most beautiful encouraging post about my strength and courage and tenacity-I was trying to care for a
disabled daughter and work and was cycling all over the place-but I felt ahamed to go on SSI. It helped me
make the decision and still keep my dignity and respect . I saved that email and still look at it when I feel like I
am unlovable and not achieving what I should be.For all of your selfless encouragement- wisdom and love - I
thank you Kodiak and if there is an afterlife-which I truly hope there is- may you be free and at peace. 

I will miss you big bear.-Love Teri 

  

 

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