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Shilo Christine Van Tatenhove my Beloved wife of 30 years...
Shilo Christine Van Tatenhove
With the heaviest of hearts, we let our friends and family know that Shilo, my wife of almost 30 years and mother to our amazing daughters, passed away suddenly on the evening of Friday, May 12, 2023, due to complications with a long-term medical condition. She passed on to the next adventure at home with us. She had a great day before she had to go; her last year with us was one of our best.
Shilo embodied the creative life journey of a true artist and writer. She and her family lived life fiercely and on their own terms. Shunning conventionality instead choosing to forge their loving bohemian path.
Shilo was a lifelong writer, first in her poetry and stream-of-consciousness, and started her first full-length novel this past year. She was about halfway finished but shared all of the world-building and story/character development with her husband (also an author.) Her husband and daughters intend to finish her novel and publish it someday. Much like Vincent Van Gogh, she never cared if she found recognition or success. She just wanted to share her beautiful, vivid thoughts.
We love and miss you already. And are so proud of being a part of your journey and the completely unique, kind, creative human you were.
We will see you again someday when we finish our own life stories.
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Shilo Cristine Van Tatenhove passed away the evening of Friday, May 12, 2023, in her home in Estes Park, Colorado.
A celebration will be held at The Wheel Bar in Estes Park, CO, on Sunday, May 21, 2023, at 3 pm. We consider this an anti-funeral and ask those friends and family that wish to join us to come dressed to celebrate. Think of dressing up as if you were going out to your favorite dance club.
Shilo was born on May 1, 1974, to Debra and Clifford Schweizer in Johnson City, Kansas. Shilo graduated from Woodland Park High School and continued to receive a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University. She graduated on the Dean’s List even while struggling with daily chronic pain.
Shilo was married to Jason Van Tatenhove for the past 30 years.
Shilo is well known for her kind heart and willingness to help others. She was also actively involved in her girls’ lives, supporting them with their wrestling, theater, dance, music, and photography interests.
Shilo is survived by her two daughters, Lux, Wintyr, and Sierra, granddaughter AnaBelle, husband Jason Van Tatenhove, two sisters, mother, two nieces, and two nephews, and many more friends and family.
Shilo is preceded in death by her fathers, Clifford Schweizer and Jerry Stocking, and her grandparents, Ralph and Toots Schweizer and Archie and Marjorie Nairn.
In place of flowers, memorial donations may be given at https://gofund.me/b4373f3a. The family wishes to thank the Estes community, who helped us navigate this difficult time.
Heaven under the black lights
I had a dream a few years back. Around that time, I realized that my wife’s condition had already taken away part of who she used to be. What parts of her mind, body, and heart had already seemed to pass? I thought we would not see them again. Miraculously they appeared to return during the past year.
We met at 22 in the early 90s in a nightclub in northern Colorado. I had just moved back to Fort Collins that very day. My friends helped me move, and we had just finished unloading the beat-up, rusted U-Haul. Dirty, dusty, and sweating, I took them to the north side of town to say thanks. The Old Fort Ram was in the industrial district, and the building had once been a vast warehouse.
Under the blue-white glow of black lights, I first saw her crooked half-smile as I walked into the club with my friends in tow as the base thundered across the dance floor. As I walked past the bouncers, she was the first person I saw, the sweet scent of nightclub fog drifting in the air. Standing there, her white tank top framed by thin bracers, glowing under the blacklight, her brown eyes alive with sparks of youth, plaid miniskirt, and high-top vans. I’ll never forget that moment. She was a post-punk rock angel who had fallen to the earth, and I fell for her right then and there.
The dream I had hearkened back to that night. Again, it was at a club, but this one was at a bar a friend once owned, where we had our wedding reception, The Star Light. But the black lights were there. Old friends who were long dead, friends we used to meet every Saturday night, to all dance our youth away, were there. And Shilo was there greeting me just inside the nightclub door, half-crooked smile once more whole, eyes once again sparking, but this time wearing a golden dress with matching vans. She grabbed my hand and pulled me out to the dance floor, and we once again danced the night away with all our old friends.
I don’t know if I believe in gods, devils, angels, or demons. But I think I had a fleeting glimpse of what part of my heaven will be.