Another Year Gone

Matt and his beloved puppy, Tyson.

Six years ago today, Matt died. It’s still impossible to believe he’s gone. Even after six years, it still feels unbelievable.  My husband, Ron, said, “In some ways, it gets worse as time goes by.” He went on to explain, that in the beginning, we had pictures of Matt that weren’t too far out of date, but every year that goes by, we are missing more and more pictures and memories that should have been. I agree, plus I felt like I could tough it out for a year or two without Matt but not 5 or 10 years. 

I wake up and think, oh Matt, I miss you so much. I exist somewhere between the pain of his death and the joy of his life.  But now I can smile at the sweet memories, the sharp edge has softened.

Ron (dad), Dana and Orlando (cousins) and Matt
Ron (dad), Dana and Orlando (cousins), and Matt
Brian (brother) trying to be taller than Matt - he eventually caught up.
Brian (brother) trying to be taller than Matt

Heartbreak and hope are not mutually exclusive. We can be angry and sad and filled with longing for something we cannot have, and simultaneously we can be grateful for what we’ve got — aware, for reasons we’d never choose, of what really matters and what doesn’t. – Lennon Flowers

I always feel Matt’s absence, and that will never get easier, but I am able to be grateful for what I do have and learned how to handle the impossible in better ways.  Simultaneously, I also feel Matt’s presence, he’s with me every day.

Jessie (cousin) and Matt
Jessie (cousin) and Matt
Connor (cousin) and Matt
Connor (cousin) and Matt









Matt always inspired me and made me want to be a better person. Now that he’s gone, I take solace in knowing how proud Matt would be of MKRO. I imagine his excitement and joy for the way MKRO has grown and know how much he would have wanted to be a part of this.  Building MKRO was a way for us to continue Matt’s legacy and improve the world in ways that he would have done had he still been alive.  When we highlight people who make kindness a way of life, as Matt did, and help fund kindness projects done by everyday heroes, our hope is that it helps you to feel inspired, empowered, and hopeful about humanity. 

We also hope it serves as a reminder to appreciate the little things in life because they really are the big things. Don’t take for granted the people you love in your life. Show them your love, give them your time, and savor every moment with them. 

“I learned the most about the value of ordinary from interviewing men and women who have experienced tremendous loss such as the loss of a child, violence, genocide, and trauma. The memories that they held most sacred were the ordinary, everyday moments. It was clear that their most precious memories were forged from a collection of ordinary moments, and their hope for others is that they would stop long enough to be grateful for those moments and the joy they bring.”  – Brene Brown

In honor of Matt, set aside your busy minds and cluttered schedules and spend time with the people you love. Be sure to tell them that you love them and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures together.

Is there someone who inspires you with their kindness?  Nominate them for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.

Do you have an act-of-kindness project you want to do but need help funding it?  Submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $500 and let us help you spread kindness.


15 thoughts on “Another Year Gone”

  1. Hoping that you find peace today and everyday in what you are doing and how you are living your life. We spent the weekend with our family at Jack’s bar mitzvah.

    1. thanks louise. so glad you spent your weekend celebrating jack and being with all the family. so important.

  2. Fabulous thoughts , you are both role models for many. Be strong and carry on. Thinking of you guys.

  3. Jackie, you’ve always been so generous with your heart. I have always been on the receiving end of that generosity. MKRO is such a wonderful legacy. So proud of you❤️

  4. Jackie – I feel that I have come to know Matt through MKRO and your amazing work to remember and honor him. Thank you Matt for sharing your MOm and Dad, and your life of kindness through them.
    My thoughts are with you today. With gratitude,

    1. thanks patti, i wish you had the chance to meet matt in person, he was a beautiful soul. and i’m grateful to have you in my life.

  5. It is so hard to believe another year has passed. You’re right that you need to appreciate the time we have together and make every moment count for life is too short. I love the pics and wish I had known more about him but his memory lives on and he would be so proud of all the work and acknowledgements you have given to others in his name. Love to you and Ron and Brian always

  6. Just finished reading your things about my wonderful grandson Matt it made my heart beat soo fast love Ni

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