Letters to the Editor

Gratitude and respect remain with grandparents after loss | Letter to the Editor

Early in the morning on Oct. 4, we received the most devastating telephone call we have ever received. We were told that Palmerston Robert Kelly Burk, the youngest of our eight grandchildren, had died.

When we arrived on Vashon the next day to be with our daughter Kathleen, our granddaughter Garnet and our grandson David, the lack of the presence of Palmer overwhelmed us completely.

Shortly after our arrival, and throughout the next week, we became aware of the amount of love, compassion, help and support that encompasses your island.

To us, the gathering of the community — and their willingness to share in our grief — was overwhelming. The love that we felt, the support we witnessed and the overall giving from the community will always remain in our hearts.

As we have learned, some 600 people paid their respects to Palmer over the course of our visit. We were introduced to and spoke with so many of you wonderful people, and we thankfully received your condolences personally. The names of you all are not within our reach as we write this. However, our love, gratitude and respect for you are endless.

We are especially thankful to the Island professionals — Island Funeral Service, Blooms & Things, The Bethel Church and The Sportsmen’s Club — businesses and people who graciously handled the arrangements.

To the numerous anonymous donors and to all of the many, many people who provided assistance in so many ways, you all helped to ease our pain and sorrow.

May God bless you all.


— Robert and Andrea Gilligan


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