RIP Madelyn Dunham and Christine Durbin

If you haven’t heard the sad news, Barack Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham died today. In a statement, Obama and his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said: 

It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

I’ve also been meaning to offer condolences here to my other senator, Dick Durbin, who lost his 40-year-old daughter Christine on Saturday, from complications related to a lifelong congenital heart condition. I’m a huge fan of Durbin’s, to the point of remarking a couple of times during this election season (like after last summer’s FISA vote, ahem) that the wrong senator from IL was running for president. He’s not the one who gets the glory, but he’s seriously cool. 

I cannot even imagine what a mindfuck it must be for these men to be grieving right now, when they should be celebrating (knock wood) well-deserved victories tomorrow. There’s not really much else to say, except I’m so sorry for both families.

8 thoughts on “RIP Madelyn Dunham and Christine Durbin”

  1. What Twistie said. I know that Obama’s hurting. I was a mess after losing my grandma, and I didn’t have to be on a national stage. I can’t even begin to imagine what Durbin’s going through. :(

  2. Again, what Twistie AND Arwen said.
    I lost my dad to cancer a month ago, and I can’t imagine having to grieve publicly.

    My heart really goes out to both of them.

  3. I saw Obama speak tonight in Charlotte, NC, and we could all hear the pain in his voice. I can’t even imagine getting onstage and speaking to thousands of people several times in one day after a loss like this, but he did it. I teared up again and again during that speech.

    I need to go blub a little bit more now, for both Obama and Durbin.

  4. We at the Cancer Research Institute wish to extend our sincerest sympathies to Senator Barack Obama and his family on the loss of his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who succumbed to cancer yesterday.

    In the statement from the campaign, the Senator encouraged those who wish to express their condolences to contribute to cancer research. We thank Senator Obama for this thoughtful action at a time of unimaginable grief.

    Click here to make a donation in memory of Madelyn Dunham: http://www.cancerresearch.org/give/memorial/Barack-Obama.html


    The Cancer Research Institute has earned four-out-of-four stars from Charity Navigator and an “A” grade from the American Institute for Philanthropy. For information about the Cancer Research Institute’s excellent charity ratings, go to: http://www.cancerresearch.org/ratings.html.

Comments are closed.