K.C. Ratcliff’s legacy to Summit County is to love, understand and embrace life in the present | SummitDaily.com
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K.C. Ratcliff’s legacy to Summit County is to love, understand and embrace life in the present

When an unexpected and tragic event like the death of K.C. Ratcliff happens, we, as his friends, his family and his community, have an expansive opportunity to open for healing and change in our lives.

K.C., my brother, was a loving, humble, kind-hearted soul with an endearingly cynical facade. While not religious, his understanding of authentic spirit was profound.

He spoke little of this but lived in a way that let his soul shine through. The depths of K.C.’s inner strength and spirit have touched many in a very transformational way. His death is his final, yet eternal, offering to each of us.



K.C.’s transition creates a portal through which those of us who still live with beating hearts and flowing breath can transform.

K.C. would ask us to heal by not fearing death and by embracing our own lives in the right now, as we live them. K.C. would ask us to live with compassion and loving kindness towards one another – now.



K.C. would wish for us to allow his death to be the catalyst for healing our own wounds. He would wish for us to come together in body and in spirit and nurture these precious human connections we share in each moment.

K.C. would watch over us and, with few words, share his wisdom. K.C. would seek quiet mountaintop time for himself and encourage us to do the same. K.C. would celebrate life with his mind open to all the rainbow colors of existence, and we would join him.

K.C. would seek a fresh patch of powder and paint it with graceful turns. K.C. would encourage our own authentic creative expression. K.C. would honor and respect our Mother Earth, and he would ask us to notice the season’s first columbine hiding low alongside a rock as the winter snows melt into spring. K.C. would say “I love you” and expect nothing in return. K.C. would go.

H. H. The Dalai Lama says, “It is only as humans that we have the possibility of implementing change in our lives. It is crucial that we realize the great value of human existence, the opportunity and the potential that our brief lives afford us.”

Please honor K.C.’s life by living fully, gratefully and compassionately in each moment.

On behalf of the Ratcliff family, I would like to express my gratitude for the overwhelming love, support and inclusion that we continue to receive from K.C.’s Summit County family.

We feel as if we have made strong heart-to-heart connections with many here in the area. We send energy for healing and offer our support of your own healing in anyway that we can.

So much love goes to Russell, Garrett, Tim and Keith for courageously being with K.C. in his last hour in his body. We honor with great gratitude all the ski patrollers, search and rescue and medical teams who did everything in their power to save K.C.’s life.

Heartfelt thank-yous to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Jim Shields and the crew at Snake River Saloon, Arnie Green, Beth Ann, Kevin, Jeffrey and the rest of K.C.’s friends who helped organize the celebration of life this past Wednesday.

K.C.’s family is ever grateful and sends waves of love to each of you.


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