Friday, June 24, 2011
"Sister Wives" - MERI BARBER – The Sad Loss of Her Sister, Teresa Barber Kunz.
In both seasons, a teary eyed Meri mentions her sister, Teresa, who died of colon cancer at 32 in 2006. Meri brought up something that we all should think about …getting tested for Colon Cancer. It’s the third leading cause of death in America. Our family has dealt with this horrible cancer, and it pleased me to see Meri bring this tender subject up and having a colonoscopy for all to see. I’ve had one, they are not that bad. But, when you’ve lost someone to the cancer, watched their pain and suffering, it’s a different matter. It can be terrifying. After the death of her sister, Meri’s entire siblings have gotten a colonoscopy. They all had found polyps. These polyps, if taken out early, may prevent cancer. Meri had them, too. The colonoscopies they had may have saved every sibling!
The thing that bothers me is the terminology. Sadly, Teresa wasn’t a wife in the eyes of the law. These women aren’t her “sisters.” Why not just call it what it is? Or come up with a better name for the different people “in the lifestyle.” Teresa was listed, as one would assume, as Teresa Barber, on the Social Security Death index.
Obituary: TERESA BARBER KUNZ
TERESA BARBER KUNZ 1973 ~ 2006; TERESA BARBER KUNZ, age 32, passed away February 6, 2006 at her home in Rocky Ridge, Utah. She was born May 2, 1973 in Alameda, California to WILLIAM JAMES BARBER, JR. and BONNIE AHLSTROM BARBER. She married JEFFERY KUNZ Feb. 24, 1996 in Bluffdale, Utah. Survived by her husband JEFF; children, JESSIKA LAUREN KUNZ, VIONA JUSTYNE KUNZ, WILLIAM JOSEPH KUNZ, and MYKENNA JOYCE KUNZ; parents, WILLIAM and BONNIE BARBER; many brothers, sisters, and extended family. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 11, 2006 at the Rocky Ridge Cemetery, Rocky Ridge, Utah. A memorial service and luncheon will be held at the Rocky Ridge Chapel following the interment. Funeral Directors, Anderson Funeral Home, Nephi, UT. (Source: Deseret News, Thurs. 9 Feb 2006)
I asked someone with a wealth of knowledge on Polygamists to read this post before posting. These are their points brought up about this post -
*Were Meri's parents related in any way, was there intermarriage between cousins, etc, which might have been a genetic risk factor for colon cancer in the family to begin with? The AUB and other polygamy groups often intermarry with cousins, etc, and the AUB has a "baby cemetery" with loads of dead children because some do not believe in standard medical care. See the affidavit of Stephen Kent for the Canadian Reference Case on Polygamy. (My comment here- My great great grandparents were first cousins! I’m sure my father didn’t know this, they were born in the 1840’s- but yet, the family is riddled with cancer. Out of 7 brothers and sisters, 6 died of cancer. That is interesting.)
*I cannot say I agree with you at all regarding the "lesson on polygamy" that you cite - that sister wife can take care of a dead woman's children. Remember statistically speaking that MEN die at a younger age than women, so if a polygamous man dies, he usually leaves 2 or more women with poor employment skills as widows. These women often have difficulty supporting themselves and they are "reassigned" to other men to be taken care of. (I would say each case is different. I know many typical families in America that wouldn’t take their nieces and nephews in. It’s not only economics, but pure morals and ethics, too. Not everyone has them. I do believe between Meri, Janelle, and Christine, this would not be an issue. Thank God they do believe in health care.)
We do pray that Teresa’s family is in peace, and her children are well. Bless them all. Her littlest one was only 4 years old when she died. How very sad.
This brings up the question...Are they all buried together, all the wives? I've never understood one thing, call me dense. If the children of the family will populate their planet someday, does that mean they won't be on a planet with THEIR spouse? This Fundamentalist Mormon stuff is confusing.