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HOF broadcaster Pat Miles finds healing through authoring new book, 'Before All Is Said And Done'

After former KARE 11 anchor Pat Miles lost her husband to cancer, she found healing by writing not just about grief and loss but also planning her own mortality.

MINNEAPOLIS — Even at 72 years old, Pat Miles' golf swing is as smooth as butter.

“It's always been a place where I can go and get away from the world,” said Pat Miles, Hall of Fame broadcaster and former KARE 11 anchor.

The golf course is her happy place for so many reasons.

“He used to tell me, 'You're my most favorite person to play golf with,'" Miles said. "That was special. Yeah, we played a lot of golf together.”

Pat's golf partner and husband of 14 years, Bucky Zimmerman, died of pancreatic cancer in February of 2019.

“He died in three months. And he was a perfectly healthy, vital man,” said Miles.

“And within three months, he was dead — and I was a widow.”

Bucky's death admittedly left Pat unprepared for the quagmire of legal and financial issues that come with a spouse's death. As she navigated through her grief and figured out her new normal, Pat also felt angry for not having the answers.

That's when the journalist in her kicked in.

For those who don't know, Pat is a member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame and a true trailblazer. She burst onto the scene at WCCO-TV in the late 70s when female news anchors were few and far between. She says WCCO legend Dave Moore reminded her of that fact at the time.

“He said, 'You know, Pat, I don't really need a co-anchor. I've been doing this by myself a long time,'“ said Miles.

Pat carved out an impressive 28-year broadcasting career, which included 11 years at KARE 11. Her Pat Miles Special, a long-form magazine show, won numerous awards, and later found it would be her sharp interviewing skills that would help her heal after Bucky died.

“I think a good journalist is a curious person — a genuinely curious person — and when I became a widow, I became a genuinely curious person about widowhood,” Miles said.

So, she wrote a book titled, "Before All Is Said And Done." It's not just about grief and loss, but also practical advice on how to prepare for death while living.

“We plan for everything else in our lives,” said Miles. “We plan to go to school. We plan to get married. We plan to have a baby. Would you bring a baby home with no crib or no diapers or no formula? No. You wouldn't. You plan for nine months to bring that baby home? Right. So take 10 minutes and plan for the day you don't come home.”

It's the information Pat wishes she had available after Bucky passed away.

“I was so depressed. I was so grief-stricken. I wasn't thinking straight.”
“I say in the book, 'Boy, if I could do anything again, I would take someone with me; have them listen; have them write it down; have them help me figure it out,” says Pat.

It's great advice you can now read in her book, which comes out this week — ironically, not long after another milestone in Pat's life.

“Bucky is now gone, but now I have a grandchild who's come. And it's kind of the cycle of life isn't it?” Pat said. “People tell you these things all your life: 'Oh, your kids are going to grow up so fast. Oh, you're not going to believe it when you have a grandchild.' And that's all true. Yeah, it's all true.”

What's also true, is time does help heal those in pain, which is why Pat spends as much time as she can in her happy place — the golf course.

Below you can find three highlights from Pat’s book you may find helpful:

  1. Pick a financial advisor you trust — before anything happens.
  2. Create a binder with all passwords and codes to get into all accounts, including cell phones.
  3. And write an "intention letter" to your family to help stave off any possible disputes and to leave behind a legacy.

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