Saturday, July 30, 2011

Farewell Christoph Stigler

Ross and Christoph

After leaving Dressage at Lexington so suddenly to go to Germany to be with my sick dad, he passed away last Wednesday. Boyd and I can not believe that after losing Ross on July 2, we are also losing my dad Christoph 18 days later.

My dad was an amazing person and amazing father to me and my two sisters, Nina and Laura, and my brother Julian. He also was my Mum's best friend and partner for many many years. I always thought how lucky my parents were to have found each other. There are not many people who have such a close bond and great relationship as my parents had. They respected each other in every way. It was so great and important for us children to be around; we learned so much good out of my parents marriage.

When my dad was diagnosed with Plasmacytoma in early 2006, we were devastated. We could not believe that my dad, who in our eyes lived the healthiest life that you
could possibly live. My dad ran marathons, did triathlons, did not eat meat or drink alcohol or smoke, and he out of all people had to be diagnosed with such a horrible cancer.

Not long before he was diagnosed, my dad, Ross and Boyd rode their bicycles through the middle of Australia for 7 days from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock. That was one of my dad's favorite trips. Ross and my dad were very much alike: very sporty and just great men. They became good friends on that trip.

My dad was the most positive and brave person I know. He started with a very aggressive chemotherapy right away and even through this horrible treatment with so much pain he stayed positive and kept telling us not to worry; that he has to go through this and he is not going to be beaten down by this.

Boyd and I got married in Australia in December 2006. Because my dad was in the middle of the therapy at that time my parents could not make the long trip to Australia. That was devastating for me and my parents not to be there when I got married. My dad put on his suit in our living room in Germany and my mum videoed his speech for our wedding. He could not walk me down the aisle but he was not going to miss his speech.We played his speech on a big screen at our reception and it was like he was there!

For the next five years my dad kept fighting this horrible illness. He had to go through terrible, painful treatments, but in between treatments my parents went on great trips together and spent as much time together as they could. On their last trip my parents came to help us move to our new farm. My parents moved our whole house by themselves.

My dad died on July 20, 2011.

We so wished for for more time! It was not enough time for him and not enough time for us. My dad still had so many plans.

We will miss him forever!!



  1. Hard to fathom the tragedies you and Boyd have faced. I have been following your blog since Kentucky this year--my thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours! I know you have busy schedules--but take the time for yourselves there is so much to digest here! You and Boyd appear to have been blessed with great families that will help in this difficult time!

  2. Godspeed Christoph. RIP

  3. Silva, as Boyd's Godmother, I was so happy to see the two of you wed and have watched with joy as you've forged your life together. Losing Ross was one of the hardest things we've had to go through and now to have to watch you grieve the loss of your father just seems so cruel. One of your friends commented that you should both give yourselves time and I agree. The grieving process takes time and energy, my humble suggestion would be that you treat it like an event that you have to train for. Cling to one another during this time and process your emotions. We will be sending you loving, supporting prayers and thoughts.

  4. Know that both of you are in the thoughts and prayers of many! May you cherish those wonderful memories and stay strong together. Sending the warmest of thoughts to you both!

  5. May the joy of your memories ease your grief in this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.