The following article has been reprinted here, with permission of
the editor, from the September 2007 edition of The Chatham Press
One short sleep past, we wake eternally.
If you live in Chatham, you may know the story of
Meghan Kraham, a vivacious young woman who died on August 18, 2007,
of a rare cancer at age 21.
To you who are passing through or who visit on weekends, indulge
us for a brief moment because the story of this courageous, active,
kind woman is emblematic of the spirit that envelops our community.
The sadness her family feels is no heavier than the
sadness felt by the Tassinari family in Spencertown who lost their
wonderful son Ben, or that of Julia Pomeroy and John Gregory on
the passing of Raif Pomeroy, Julia’s brother – or any
of the hundreds of families here who have suffered loss and intense
grief in past years.
In fact, one of Meghan’s care givers at Columbia
Memorial Hospital and a great friend of the family was Cathy French,
mother of Eric and Sean and wife of Mark. Their son and Eric’s
brother Sean was taken suddenly in a car accident. But we keep his
image and goodness alive within us – and what he stood for.
Sean stood for everything that is right and solid
and true. And that is also what Meghan stood for. She was all about
good works. She was an indefatigable advocate of responsible behaviors
in youth. She was a scholar, an athlete, an activist. She was a
proud and ardent supporter of the athletic endeavors of her sisters
Sarah and Kathryn, and her brother Zach.
Her greatest contribution to her community was her
activism in causes that supported health and wellness. She was a
prime mover in the growth of the Chatham chapter of SADD, Students
Against Destructive Decisions. She was a student organizer of Sean’s
Run, a memorial run/walk supporting a scholarship fund for students
in the region’s high schools. Meghan was also involved with
Locks for Love, the Relay for Life and was a consistent donor to
local blood banks.
She is my niece.
But I write as the co-publisher of this paper. I asked
my partner her thoughts on this personal indulgence and her response
was simple and true: “John and Michele Kraham’s family
is the quintessential American family, bound by their love, their
faith and their belief in their fellow man and neighbors.”
And in their belief that we awake eternally after
a brief sleep. they, and especially Meghan, are emblematic of the
solid spirit that runs through us here.
The picture of that family at the top of the page
is probably like one you have on your mantle, or bedside table.
The picture of Meghan with the love of her life, Jon Prack, an American
Marine and a solid guy throughout all of this, is like many pictures
you have at home. The bright, vibrant photos of Meghan with siblings,
out and about, are just like yours. And that is what Meghan will
always be – yours.
Chatham embraced the Kraham family during Meghan’s
illness. And now, we embrace you. The family would like to thank
the community whose outpouring of love and support gave strength
to them throughout this ordeal. We will make it. All of us here
in Chatham and our surrounding hamlets.
We will make it. We will endure. We will remember.
Life will go on.
– Rich Kraham, Editor, The Chatham Press