Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Thank you to everyone that reached out to me regarding my sister Diana's passing. I am lucky to have such wonderful family and friends that wept and prayed with me throughout this difficult time. She was laid to rest in New Jersey on Saturday, March 6, 2021. I had the honor to eulogize my dear sister, best friend, and soul sister.
In Memory of Diana Hyo Jin Kim (June 3, 1971 – February 9, 2021)
Our family and I thank you for being here today to honor and celebrate my sister Diana. Many of you met her during different periods of her life and maybe in another country. She was born and raised in Paraguay and immigrated to Argentina and then to the United States in the 1990s. Despite the constant changes in her life, she was very focused and determined to excel. With little command of the English language, she got accepted and graduated from a competitive 5 year pharmacy program and had a long run as a pharmacy manager. During this very busy time, she also managed to get married and start a family, giving birth to three beautiful children. Indeed, Diana made life look incredibly easy, was an amazing role model, and encapsulated the meaning of “Super Woman”.
We first found out about her diagnosis in 2009. It was hard to believe that she was not doing well, health-wise, because even though she faced so many hardships, Diana always remained loving, cheerful, and continued to prioritize time with her family and friends. It was crucial for her to have a sense of normalcy for herself and her family, and most importantly not to be a burden on others. She thought that by putting less focus on her diagnosis, it would give her a better chance of living life as enjoyably and fully as one could, under such circumstances. And so she did, on her own terms for another 12 years.
We are so incredibly grateful for her tenacity to push through, which gave us more time to create and share beautiful moments with her. With that said, here are some words for the people that were closest to her, by her side at every step of her journey.
To my brother in law,
Our family is so grateful for all you did for Diana. As I shared with you a few weeks ago, during one of my last conversations with her, she expressed how deeply thankful she was for all that you were doing for her. She truly appreciated your love, company, support, and unwavering positivity. Assuring her that everything would be okay helped her navigate the most challenging of times and we know that she would have not come as far as she did without your support and care. We all pray that your heart heals and that you may find peace in knowing that you and her are eternally connected.
To her beautiful children,
You are the apple of your mother's eye. Your mom embraced motherhood more gracefully than anyone else I know. Since your conception, your mom loved you so deeply and unconditionally. More than anything else in this world, she truly enjoyed being your mom and wanted to be an integral part of every stage of your lives - from hearing your first words, seeing your first steps, celebrating your birthdays with special parties, attending your school concerts and sport events, and even partaking in silly chats about the latest drama amongst your circle of friends. Even during her challenging periods, she always pushed through and was committed to do everything she could do, for each and every one of you.
Having said that, I cannot imagine how deeply your hearts mourn for her but this I know...
I know that as she looks down on you from heaven, your mom is not missing a beat in keeping up with your lives. She is rooting for all 3 of you, at every step of your journey. Her ultimate wish continues to be the same – that you love yourself so deeply to know that you deserve the very best and that each of you are so very special. Your mom will always be your biggest cheerleader, truly believing that you can achieve anything you pour your heart into. She is so proud of you.
We love you so much and promise to help keep your mom's memory alive, celebrating how far she came in her life and all the beautiful things she created and enjoyed in this lifetime.
So, I would like to close with one last memory about my sister, Diana, that I will never forget.
It was a sunny afternoon, I remember enjoying a break with unni on our terrace in Argentina. I was about 6 years old, facing a sudden realization of my own mortality. I asked my sister, “unni, do you know what happens after we die?”. My sister, sensing my own fear and panic, quickly responded by pointing at the bluest of skies and proceeded to say without hesitation that “we go to heaven and you do not have to be afraid because it is a beautiful and happy place”.
Diana unni, thank you for being the most amazing daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. We were all blessed to have witnessed your strength, beauty, and grace. We love you and we will meet again in that beautiful and happy place.
With everlasting love,
Your little sister