She would paint on anything.

Kelsey Veldman was an artist.

She died on June 20, 2009 of complications from bulimia.

Your artwork is incredible. Your Aunt Audrey arranged it, so it’s well displayed. Ironic that you get your own little exhibit. It tears me to pieces that this will be your only one.

[…] planning your funeral meant going back through old pictures and skimming your books and music, and it made me reconnect a bit to the Kelsey who was my daughter. I had, if I am being really honest, lost sight of that person. I saw Kelsey the Disease mostly this last year. But, I remembered who you really were over the last few days.

I remembered how you mentored a learning challenged child in your elementary class without anyone asking it of you. I remembered you getting tossed out of a friend’s house for cleaning his room (of course, I never forgot that one because I was upset with his mother). I remembered how when you were 9 or 10 we had to get gym shoes for you and you announced to me that you would not consider Nikes because they used child labor.

I remembered, painfully, I might add, how you held my head when I had morning sickness when I was pregnant with your sister. You gave me the biggest, warmest hug right before I went to the hospital to have her.

I saw all these pictures of you with your cousins. You loved them, it was so obvious. That is who you really were.

~Kelsey’s mom

In two weeks, Kelsey’s artwork will be sold.

“You’re Beautiful”
Silent Auction

Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders

Saturday, February 20, 2010
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Space 12
3121 E 12th Ave
Austin, TX

So that people like her sister will live.

I told her how she taught me so much about words and literature and the beauty of the written language…how she, almost single-handedly, made me want to be a writer.

I thanked her for always inspiring me, for teaching me all that she has, for sharing her knowledge and wisdom with me so that now I can go out in the world and be wonderful.

I told her I’m going to write a book about her some day…a book about sisters, about MY sister.

~Marissa, Kelsey’s sister

Click to donate $1 to the AFED

Donations are closed as of Feb. 21/10. Thanks for your support.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted February 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh this made me cry. Not only is the story heartbreaking, as is every story of someone losing their life to an eating disorder, but the piece of artwork you used is crushing. It’s obvious that she meant everything to so many people, and to know that was what was in her head is heartbreaking, for lack of a strong enough synonym.

    I wish her peace, and wish her relatives strength and comfort. As I lost my job last year I don’t have any money to send and I apologize for that.

  2. Brynn
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    This is absolutely heartwrenching. I don’t really know how to put this in words. I am in recovery for anorexia, and as an artist myself, I can sort of relate to her life. I know the kinds of horrors she must have lived through. I wish her to be at peace.

  3. Carolyn
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    this is heart wrenching and infuriating. While this woman had to beg and fight insurance companies to help her daughter, and millions more people are without coverage, Mrs. Obama is pounding on the OMGLOOKATTHEGROSSFATTIES drum. People are dying from eating disorder diseases but where is the public recognition of that? It’s so completely frustrating.

    My prayers go out to this family, and for the recovery of their daughter who is still struggling.

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