The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story is now available on DVD and Digital Platforms. This lovely film shares the powerful story of a wife, mother, and friend sharing her long goodbye after a cancer diagnosis. This documentary is beautifully filled with Kara’s, her husband’s, her family’s, as well as her community’s, vulnerability, kindness, sweetness, and faith in the face of great loss. The film released on the fourth anniversary of Kara’s homecoming.
From 2014 to 2015, Kara Tippetts dared to explore the raw edges of dying with grace and dignity in real time, whereby she impacted tens of thousands around the world. Now, her powerful story has been shared in the documentary The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story, distributed by Ocean Avenue Entertainment. See the new trailer for this film.
Kara was a 38-year old pastor’s wife and mother of four young children who had begun a mommy blog titled Mundane Faithfulness, on which she shared the concept of parenting with kindness. The website already had a successful following when she began facing and processing a cancer diagnosis on the site. The site became a sacred space, as people around the world were touched by Kara’s faith, honesty, and candor. She allowed the world to walk with her as she chronicled first what it meant to be a young wife and mother battling a disease, and then ultimately what it meant to live and die, with love and dignity.
Kara was thrust into the spotlight when her letter to Brittany Maynard went viral. Brittany planned to take her own life because she was dying of terminal brain cancer. Kara’s vulnerability with Birttany had an incredible impact on thousands of people around the world, and grew that community of support in surprising ways.
Faith influencers from around the globe began to find ways to assist Kara by sharing her posts, sending personal messages, serving the family’s needs, as well as just becoming her friend.
During her journey with cancer, Kara was able to write and publish three books, including Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together and And It was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye. Her third book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard, won the 2015 ECPA Inspirational Book of the Year award. The award was announced after Kara’s passing, but she had been informed of the win in her final days.
Kara’s story came to the attention of filmmakers Jay and Sofia Lyons early after her diagnosis. The couple felt led to do something for her. Sofia states how God led them down a path to create the film by a series of breadcrumbs. She says, “First, we just wanted to do something special for Kara and her family. This evolved into creating a 7-minute video about her life, which ultimately opened up a conversation about fully documenting her last few months on earth.”
For Sonoma Christian Home, Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard has a beautiful, exclusive interview with Jay and Sofia Lyons:
SCH: What is at the core of Kara’s story?
JSL: Even though Kara is dying, at the heart of her story is hope. She inspires us and teaches us how to live.
SCH: What surprised as you have worked on this project?
JSL: It all came together like a patchwork quilt. From all over the world, Kara created and drew together an amazing community. Both the famous and not famous were drawn to her. One woman even came all the way from England to say goodbye to her.
SCH: What have been some of the primary blessings of working on this story?
SL: Meeting her as a woman and mom challenged me. I was affected by her life, example, and honesty, as she allowed God to use her in her weakness.
SCH: What did you learn about God as you worked with this story?
JL: From Jason I learned that God is sovereign. Jason said it was not his job to understand why all this was happening. He said it was his job to be faithful, even as he was facing being alone with four kids. From Jason, I learned to trust in the overall goodness of God.
SCH: What did you learn about the Christian life as you worked with this project?
SL: I learned that God isn’t finished with me/us yet. I learned that there are stages of life. I learned that God gives us the story for our lives. We don’t pick the story. God does. Kara said she would not have picked her story but it is still a good one.
SCH: How has this story changed your own life?
SL: I have become a filmmaker and producer, which I did not expect.
SCH: What have you learned about documentary film-making with this project?
SL: The story is most important. We need to trust the story. We did not use extra light or external audio. We opened curtains to let in natural light. This documentary includes home shot footage. It came together like a quilt.
SCH: What lessons about marriage did you learn making this film?
SL: Kara used kind words. She was intentional with her words and attitudes. She focused on her husband’s, family’s, others’ needs.
SCH: What are lessons about hope in this story?
SL: Kara’s hope was of heaven. She had no hope in healing of the cancer. She wanted from God a soft heart. She saw time as precious and limited time. Through her life and story we learn that God is with us and there in our struggles. We don’t need to fear dying. There is hope even in dying.
Jay says, “Sharing this time with her family was nothing short of a holy experience.”
The Long Goodbye enables viewers to experience the local community that gathered to help the Tibbetts family in their time of need. Jay says, “Their impact in Kara’s story is remarkable. These friends walked alongside the Tippetts through every aspect of her diagnosis, and truly show us how to love and honor someone who is at the end of their journey.”
Jay further says, “We know that Kara’s story will continue to have an incredible impact. Cancer and other similar diseases are impossibly prevalent in our society. If we aren’t personally facing any number of health crises, we know someone who is. Kara helps us understand what it means to be facing an impossible health battle. She helps us understand how God walks with us in our pain. She helps us understand what it means to say goodbye with grace and an abundance of love.”
In association with Freely, LLC, The Long Goodbye: is available on DVD and Digital formats. Kara Tippets Documentary
Distributor, Ocean Avenue Entertainment, Inc. is the destination for productions that offers hope to audiences looking for inspiration in entertainment. Ocean Avenue is committed to releasing inspiring and redemptive films and television programming. Its distribution strategy optimizes each release platform to find the widest possible audience theatrically on VOD, DVD and ultimately on streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. For more information, please visit www.oceanave.tv.
Freely specializes in projects that touch the human spirit. Freely is building content across all platforms including film, TV, live events, digital media, and has recently launched a talent management division.
Filmmakers Jay and Sofia Lyons -a husband and wife team- have been impacting the world as artists, both musically and visually, for over two and a half decades.
While in NYC, Jay (a licensed and ordained minister) served as Creative Arts Pastor at a church plant in lower Manhattan that started shortly after the 9-11 tragedy and met 1 block from the World Trade Center site. Sofia says, “9-11 was our daughter’s 2nd day of kindergarten in Manhattan. We knew we had to do something, anything, to help others during this time.”
While in NYC Sofia also started to land many TV placements for her original music.
During this same time, Jay became heavily involved in TV and film production. In 2011 the couple decided to move to LA, which has allowed Jay to produce hundreds of hours of TV for networks including MTV, TLC, NBC, CBS, and Discovery Channel. Sofia has also helped mentor young artists and actors as a vocal coach to the ‘Stars’ in Burbank CA. Her clients have been featured in Hidden Figures and numerous Disney and Nickelodeon shows. She loves sharing her experience as a worship leader and pop singer to mentor young talent.
Drawing from their experience from full-time ministry, as well as working in the entertainment industry, Jay and Sofia felt a calling to create uplifting, faith-based content. This led to the formation of Jay Lyons Productions, a TV and film production company.
On meeting Kara Tippetts, Sofia says, “Kara changed my life as a mother and as a Christ-follower, but she especially changed how I view suffering. Her unique perspective on life, even in dying, was truly profound and we knew that after meeting her this story needed to be told. We are simply grateful that God chose us to give voice to Kara’s story, and are looking forward to the many, many people who will be inspired and encouraged by THE LONG GOODBYE.”
“I want more of what Kara Tippetts had.” – Ann Voskamp, Kara’s writing mentor
“I think Kara and I both understand that deep suffering stretches the capacity of the soul.” -Joni Eareckson Tada
“The impact of her life was huge. I’m blessed to know her.” – Joanna Gaines
Layout and Copy Editor- Melanie Pickett