Tosca Reno

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celebrating Robert H. Kennedy - Our Final Farewell

Our brave pallbearers.
Photo Credit: Paul Buceta
The steps towards honoring my husband on his last journey have been many, often labored and weighed down by pain, grief and shock. Somehow though there were moments of brilliance too.  Yesterday entering the church with Robert and my family and friends around to give respect to him, I faltered. It seemed impossible to me that I would have to walk down the aisle behind the coffin of my beloved man now gone. The tremendous weight of it was more than I could bear. But I could feel Robert with me steadying me. He always had that way with me and knew exactly when I needed it most. I thought hard about the two of us having had so much together, smiling at the thought of the daffodils from our hill that I had placed in the casket along with the note and reading glasses (he might need them) that would keep him company. I found my courage and walked on. We girls will be alright Robert. We will.
Honoring Bob.
Photo Credit: Paul Buceta
Chelsea's boyfriend, Brendan MacDonald, piped our procession in, playing Highland Cathedral accompanied by Kiersten and Kelsey-Lynn in their kilts performing highland dance steps. This magnificence was fit for our king and carried us into the church for the service that would remind us of the treasure Bob was to us all. Chelsea, Rachel and I read passages during the ceremony. The crowd sat together feeling such love and sadness at the same time. When the words were over it was again time to take Bob to his final resting place. Brendan piped us out of the church with a powerful version of Amazing Grace. He played so beautifully. I can't hear the pipes without crying so of course .... I was.
Our beautiful piper, Brendan.
Photo Credit: Paul Buceta
Once at the cemetery we heard a final prayer and a glorious rendition of Bells of Dunblane and at that moment the sun broke through the sky in a blaze. Why is it that things can be so beautiful and so painful at the same time?

Robert was placed in the same cemetery where his son Braden was laid to rest just a year ago so we went to that gravesite and Brendan once again played Amazing Grace for him. This part of the day was coming to an end.
My pillars of strength: Yfat Reiss-Gendell, Silvie Bordeaux & Franca Pedulla.
Photo Credit: Paul Buceta
After the service friends and family joined us at our home in Caledon to celebrate. I found myself longing for this opportunity to honor Bob and his many accomplishments, paintings, stories and more. Two hundred of us spent the afternoon toasting him. The colors pink and purple were everywhere from napkins to flowers to men's pocket squares and ties, and drinks. The champagne was pink, Bob, and you would have loved it.
Toasting my beloved husband.
Photo Credit: Paul Buceta
We salute you! We love you! And we will never forget you Bob Kennedy.

Farewell!

47 comments:

  1. You are a amazing wife Tosca you and your girls did a wonderful Job Bob we be forever loved. Take care of yourself sending prayers and love to each of you.

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  2. Thinking of you and your family :(

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  3. What a beautiful ceremony to honor Bob, prayers for peace and comfort for you and your family!

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  4. Beautifully written Tosca, may God bless you in your future ahead - God is good :) lean on him!

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to the man you loved and cherished and who gave so much to each of you in his life! Tosca thanks so much for sharing this incredibly painful yet beautiful day with all of us! May God bless each and everyone of you daily!

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  6. This post brought tears to my eyes. You and your family are so brave; I can only imagine how difficult it would be to say good bye.

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  7. What a strong family you are! Thank you for sharing your live with us. You and your husband have helped my family so much over the last couple of months. I will continue to follow the guidance you have given in his great memory. Thinking of you all! Continue to stay strong Tosca!

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  8. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched…even if only from words in a magazine. May you and your family remember all he has given and cherish your memories…share them with all who may not have had the pleasure of ever meeting him. And know that he is always watching over you until you meet again.

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  9. Beautiful indeed ! Bob will always be with you ! Stay strong and carry on !

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  10. How touching and very, very sad! May God give you peace over the next few months.

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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  11. **wipes tears from eyes**

    {{hugs}} You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. Tosca, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful, and so extremely personal, pictures with all of us ... and for trusting us with your deepest thoughts and feelings. You are truly amazing, and your family is just as much so...

    Honestly, you were in my thoughts yesterday morning as I sat at my desk at work (in North York), just after 10 in the morning, as I wondered what you and your loved ones were experiencing at that very moment, and throughout the day as you both mourned and celebrated your sweet husband, Bob, being laid to rest.

    What a gift you have given me, and all of your loving fans & friends, to allow us this glimpse into your life at this hugely emotional and reflective time ... In this way, thank you for letting me 'be there', too ... Be well ALWAYS ... :) xoxoxo

    - Jane

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  13. Draw strength from your family and friends, Tosca...and know that Bob is with you always. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs and love}}}}}}}}}}}}

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  14. It is very clear the love you gave, and was given, was breathtaking. Peace to you all as you go forward.

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  15. Throughout this journey your words have been gracious and beautiful. May you and your family be blessed with strength and love to carry you through the days ahead.

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  16. Tosca,
    You said in your post that you faltered. One does not falter at such an occasion. Whatever happened would be expected of a love as deep as you and Bob shared.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Many of us would have loved to be there but couldn't.
    As you are there for us, I am here for you!
    Much love,
    Vicki

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  17. Tosca thank you for sharing this day, I know it was a sad day, a day no one ever wants to have to do, but you brought so much love to this day,I could feel it through my computer as I read. I cry for you now, I am sorry, I know you are trying to stay strong, but its okay to cry, cry for the love of your life, but when the crying is done, wipe your tears, and feel the love in your heart, as you do already.. Your an amazzzzzzzzing woman I can not say it enough. Your family is a beautiful family. When you speak of Bob I feel the love, you have so much to hold onto, I am sorry you couldn't hold on to him, God has him now, and he will be bench pressing, and showing off his muscles, and giving tough love to angels above. Everytime I hear thunder I will believe its him lifting weights and dropping them.lol.. I can see him now telling the angels, about how Tosca never cheated and even had a brownie, but he would sneak a few not so clean foods, I remembered one of his tough love colums.I loved it, it showed we are all human. He was and is an amazing amazing man, and you are a lucky woman to have been there with him.My prayers are with you.

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  18. Tosca, it was always clear to us, the readers, how much Bob cared for you and the girls......and I know that I always appreciated the "tough love" and straight talk he gave to us, your readers. I'm glad he'll be free from pain and I know he'll be with you always.

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  19. To a amazing man and a legacy. May you and your family find peace in his brilliance and tough love attitude as inspiration to keep moving forward. May god bless you and your family at this time of sadness.

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  20. what beautiful photos. your family truly looks like they are celebrating a life well lived.

    blessings friend,
    Krista

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  21. What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. You and Bob shared an amazing wonderful love story. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.

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  22. Tosca, what a beautiful ceremony to honor such a treasured soul. I pray for you and your family daily, and hope that you can feel God draw you close in your time of grief. Bob leaves behind a wonderful legacy in you, your family, and every life that he touched in some way. God bless.

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  23. Thank you for sharing this with all of us! Our family to yours: peace, love and strength to carry you through. Bob will certainly be missed and forever adored by many. Thank you for blessing us by including us. Love and blessings to you.

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  24. Thank you for sharing such beautiful words with us Tosca. Sending you many prayers, hugs and blessings to help you through your rough days. Robert's memory will live on. Love and hugs to you and your family xo

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  25. Just beautiful Tosca. Bob would have loved every bit you all did to honor him. It was not Goodbye, it's see you later. We love you.

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  26. Aww, sweet Lady - you didn't falter. It was an opportunity for the love of your life to lift you once again and give you comfort in your time of need. He will always be in your heart. Small moments of memories, feelings that he's with you or near you, tender thoughts of the joy you shared with Robert will bring your aching heart healing.

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  27. The poem "if" by Kipling came to mind. The verses if you cm keep your wit about you when everyone around you is losing their...you and the girls are doing such a great job of keeping it together as the coming weeks are sure to be tough. Remember the Lord can provide great strength, comfort, love, quiet, and peace in the mist of the storm. May you and yours pull close to God during this time and the times to come as God is carrying you through this time.

    God bless,
    A touch reader by you and yours (ksd)

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  28. Tosca I am so very sorry. May time heal your hurt but not erase your memories. Rest in peace Bob.

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  29. Aloha Tosca.. I feel your pain as I too had to lay my husband to rest at a young age & Bob was there to comfort, and motivate me to keep moving forward. I lost my husband only a month after a photo shoot I had Bob in Vagas in which he had me bring my husband & kids along with me.. He was so kind that way and knew I had a family and wanted to include them in my photo shoot for MMI He loved my husband and always embraced that I had family and always included them when inviting me to do photo shoots. Bob was so amazingly kind and sweet that way. I will never forget him.
    I have missed my husband every single day & I know you will miss Bob everyday, but he is always with you in everything around you and in your heart forever♡ God Bless you & your family!

    Debra Kaniho
    http://islandgurl1.blogspot.com/

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  30. Heartbreaking Tosca and beautiful at the same time. Thank you are 10 little letters that say so much when I type this. I have followed you for over 4 years now and been a fan of Oxygen for a long time. I feel your pain very much. (hugs) to you and your dear family.

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  31. Sounds as though the day went beautifully farewelling your wonderful husband. I am so glad I discovered Oxygen via our Australian edition which always had an article, or feature from Bob. I'll miss his wisdom and honesty about training. You sound as though you both have a special bond and a loving relationship with strong love. Your memories and intimate private and loving moments will help you through the rest of your life. He will NEVER leave you.
    I admire you too Tosca, keep up your wonderful work helping us as Bob did. You have mountains of support from people all over the world who are passionate about health and fitness, many of whom you will never meet but we are all connected by our passion!!
    All my best wishes and comforting hugs to you and your family and friends, having lost people dear I know only too well the pain. I do not believe that time heals, it just makes things easier!! Take care.
    Tracey L. Piriz - Sydney, Australia.

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  32. Wow Tosca, you are also Amazing Grace. I'm speechless. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. With much love, Lauren

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  33. I will pray for your family during this difficult time. I will ask God to give you comfort, strength, and peace.
    Maria, Columbus Ohio

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  34. I hope that when my time comes, that I will handle this as gracefully and as beautifully as you have Tosca. Thank you for opening up to us and sharing the depth of your love. May God grant you the peace that passes all understanding and may He hold you in His hand as you move forward. You are an amazing woman. Prayers and hugs to you and yours!

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  35. Tosca so many of us were there in spirit and the way you took us through the day gave me a very clear visual how amazing YOU truly are! An exciting new chapter will unfold in your life but know that Bob is still by your side and we your friends, will always be there too!

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  36. So touching. I hope you know his spirit will with you always. If you start seeing dimes showing up in strange places, that's a sign. It sounds kooky, but they have spiritual significance.

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  37. What lovely photos. Thank you for sharing this journey. You can get through this, Tosca. Praying for continued comfort, support, and strength.

    Caralyn

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  38. I really don't have the words to tell you and your girls how heart broken I am for you. Visiting with you and your family at your home was such a joy for me and an experience I'll always treasure. You are all such wonderful and warm people and the love that you all have for one another is so evident!

    Nothing I can say here can adequately describe the depth of my appreciation and affection for Bob. His warm and generous heart will never be forgotten. He encouraged me in my life when I was struggling to make a way. His affirmation and encouragement are why I'm still pressing forward in this career. He always had the greater good in mind and truly loved to inspire, educate, encourage and entertain like no other. I will always think of Bob when the going gets tough in my career and when I achieve victories great or small because I know in either case he would be telling me to never give up or that the best was yet to come. I hope I make him proud!

    I'm praying for your family and for the company as a whole. With such a tremendous loss, I'm sure things will never be the same but we all certainly have a source of inspiration that will last forever.

    May God comfort you and give you strength!

    Love,
    Jamie

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  39. Love and peace to you and your family!! You are an amazing family and are blessed to have each other. Again you show us how women should be.. Filled with grace and love.

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  40. Thoughts and prayers are sent your way! May you and your family continue to be surrounded with love.

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  41. That was truly beautiful, Tosca. My heart and prayers are yours. Praying for peace and comfort for all of you.

    Much love and many blessings,
    Beth

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  42. Thank you for sharing, Tosca... <3

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  43. God bless you and the girls...

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  44. Tosca, i am so sorry for your loss. Robert will be greatly missed.
    Even though i have only met you both once (In Winnipeg) you have both left a great impression on my life, Bringing the world of fitness into my life and sharing your knowledge and encouraging words has made me a better person. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling now. But just know that we are all here for you.
    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us, you are an inspiration. :-)

    All the best to you and your family

    (on a side note, turns out Robert and i went to the same school. Culford. Although not at the same time, lol)

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  45. In your pain... you give us strength. Thank-you

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  46. he will be in your heart and thousands of others for ever! god bless

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  47. Sending hugs and heartfelt prayers. What a beautiful way to honor Bob. May peace be with you always.

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