Friends recall Kalk’s love of life

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt A memorial table at the Wellness Center in New Ulm holds a photo of Eden “Bliss” Kalk, who died on Wednesday after battling cancer. She was a massage therapist at the Wellness Center.

NEW ULM — Her friends and colleagues in New Ulm — and they are many — are mourning the loss of Eden “Bliss” Kalk.

She was a well-known and well-loved member of the community through her work as a healer and her friendships.

Kalk died Wednesday, Dec. 4, a few days after her 40th birthday. Since her passing friends, family and clients have visited her office at the Wellness Center to pay respects. Kalk’s co-workers have worked to keep her office “as is” and have moved a memorial table into the lobby.

The office still has a specific, herbal smell that reminds co-workers of Bliss.

Amy Johnson said they moved some gifts into the main lobby.

Kalk worked as a massage therapist. Her space at the Wellness Collective is famous for the ceiling bars she used for balance during an Ashiatsu massage. Her massage table now holds dozens of little candles.

Johnson said clients have been bringing in little trinkets and leaving them in the office. A guest book in the corner of the office is kept for visitors to leave memories of Bliss.

In 2017, Kalk was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. In the last two years, the community rallied around her during a special “Bliss Stock” event. Through these celebrations, many people outside the family came to know her.

Lori Mathiowetz remembers Bliss as a person who was always trying to find out what other people needed. She tended to be late, but that was because Bliss would get caught talking with others.

“She always had time for others,” Mathiowetz said. “She said yes to anyone and was so generous with her time.”

Mathiowetz described Bliss as a teacher. People often learned obscure things they learned from her, like the proper way to pick a pear, how to hunt for morels or how to hug a person. She would tell people a hug needed to come in at the right angle so the hearts would match.

“I will never know another woman like her,” Mathiowetz said.

On the Bliss Stock 2018 Facebook page, Dan Kalk wrote at length about his sister-in-law and the experiences at Bliss Stock.

“She addressed everyone there and told us all that she was blessed, despite her diagnosis, by the outpouring of love and support from her community,” he wrote. “We all know that she was the reason for that love and support because she would have done the same for any of us in her position.”

The post added that Bliss never gave up hope and she never stopped serving others. She never complained or cursed her lot in life.

A celebration of Bliss’s life will be held Sunday, December 8 from 2-6 at the New Ulm Event Center. The event will be similar to Bliss Stock, promising lots of music and laughter. Visitors are encouraged to wear bright colors in her honor.

The funeral will be Monday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Final visitation starts at 10 a.m. Lunch will be immediately after the service at the Event Center as well.

The family asks that people come and share a story about Bliss and laugh with the countless people that loved her.