. . .
One month ago today, Matthew and I pulled up to my in-law's house (after they phoned us to come over) and found out from them and our pastor that my younger sister Kasie, who had been missing for almost a week, had been found dead on the side of the road.
While the authorities hadn't positively identified the body yet, they were fairly confident it was her. And the next day it was confirmed. The police believe she was murdered.
And the next day, Matthew and I flew to TX to be with my family.
Her service was beautiful. I've never seen so many people at a memorial service prior to that. We estimated that approximately 500 people were there, give or take a few, based on how many people the church can hold.
My great aunt and the funeral home did an excellent job of putting together a display of pictures of Kasie and items from her life, like her high school softball jersey and her glove. Kasie loved softball. I don't think anything made her happier than when she had a glove on one hand and a ball in the other (except for maybe her family).
The last month has been terribly hard. For all of us. And I'm sure we've all struggled with it in different ways.
I think about Kasie every day and cry nearly every day, too. Most nights I dream about her (and most of those dreams aren't happy ones).
As is expected, most of my grief was pure anger in the beginning. Anger mostly targeted at the person/people who took her from us. Who took my parents' daughter away from them. Who took my sister and best friend from me. Who took my brother's big sister away from him. Who took my 12-yr-old sister's big sister and buddy from her. Not to mention grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, future nieces and nephews, and friends who had her taken from their lives as well. So much anger.
And anger for the fact that nothing about our lives will be the same anymore. There will always be someone missing at Christmas and Thanksgiving, and December 19th, Kasie's birthday, will never be the same again. My phone will never ring again to hear her silly "Hey! It's me!" when I pick it up.
Plus, it's not like she was sick and we were anticipating losing her. She was forcibly removed from our lives unexpectedly. One moment she's here with us, healthy and active, and the next she's dead on the side of the road because someone evil decided she didn't need to be here any longer.
There are days I want to yell at the world, asking why everyone is going on with life like everything is normal. I mean, don't they know that Kasie's gone?! Obviously, the reasonable, logical side of me knows that is ridiculous, but the emotional side just wants to lash out.
Nights are usually the hardest. And showers. When it's quiet and my thoughts have nowhere else to be.
I also find it difficult being so far away. Not that I could ever forget about Kasie's death, but there are days when it seems like she's just back in TX while we're here in WA going to work and living out our normal routine. Almost like the distance makes it less realistic, which in turn makes it even harder when reality hits. Even while we were in TX with my family, it felt like she would walk in the door any moment, like she usually did. And being back in WA, my heart constantly aches to be with my family again. No one understands the pain like they do.
I just miss her so much.
There aren't enough blog posts for me to hash out everything I feel and all the emotion surrounding her death.
Granted, amidst the pain and anger, I have absolute peace about Kasie now. I know she loved the Lord and accepted salvation and is now in ultimate peace in heaven. I also have peace knowing that she can no longer suffer or have pain or unhappiness.
But I still want her here with us. So badly.
A few years ago, Kasie introduced me to this Natalie Grant song, and she loved it so much. We were in the car listening to it, and she was singing at the top of her lungs, like her heart couldn't declare it loud enough. I hope it blesses you as it blessed Kasie and as it has blessed me, particularly in this last month.