Friday, June 14, 2013

When It Hurts

Like I said in my last post, nights are usually the hardest, when I find myself missing Kasie the most.  And, true to form (as of late, at least), here I find myself at 11 pm missing Kasie and drowning in my own tears.

Most of the time I'm okay until a memory comes to mind.

The other day Matthew and I bought these delicious fresh tortillas, and they were so good that I decided I needed to eat one with some butter and sugar, a snack Kasie and I loved as kids but one I don't eat often anymore.  As I'm slathering the tortilla with butter, my thought was, "I should call Kasie and see if she remembers eating these!!!"

And then came the all-too-familiar pang of the reality that I can't call her anymore.  How silly of me.

Sometimes it's a song that triggers a flood of memories.

Last June, Kasie came to WA a little earlier than the rest of my family just before our wedding.  One of those days we were driving down the street going who-knows-where, when "We Are Young" by Fun. came on the radio.  Kasie instantly cranked the volume, and we rolled down the windows singing along as loud as we could.  And of course it ended in lots of laughter.  After that, it kind of became "our song."

It came on the other day while Matthew and I were headed somewhere, and I couldn't stop the flow of tears.  I've heard the song a million times since Kasie passed, but for whatever reason that day it was just painful.  I could see Kasie singing it while simultaneously laughing that infectious laugh of hers, and I just ached to experience that one more time.

There are days when this whole situation surrounding Kasie's death feels unreal.  I question how this could happen to her or to our family.

I was talking to a friend about all of it yesterday, and we both agreed that no one ever expects anything like this to happen to them or a family member or even a close friend.  And I certainly never expected it.  I definitely never expected to put my younger sister to rest, nonetheless at 23 years old.  The closest I ever got to thinking that was if she died of some disease or something much later on in life, after our parents had already passed on.

Something that I've had a harder time with more recently is what her death will mean for us later on.

Kasie was so good with kids.  I mean really good.  They loved her and she loved them right back.  And one day, Matthew and I hope to have kids.  But my kids will never know their Aunt Kasie.  She'll never get to love on them or spoil them.  And they'll never understand how much she would have adored them or what a wonderful person she was.  Same for Kenneth and Kristen and their future kids.  It's all just so unfair.

Eventually, people will stop talking about her death.  And to many people, her story will become just a sad story that happened some now-unknown day so many years ago.  But to us, her absence will be an ever-present reminder of what's been taken from our lives.  And the pain will be just as fresh as it was in the beginning.  And the memories will become even sadder.

In a way, I'm envious of those who will be able to forget at some point.  Who won't experience the sting of pain at every holiday or big event.

On the other hand, I worry that one day the pain won't be fresh and that I'll somehow not miss her like I do now and move on like it never happened.  While I'm sure that will never happen and that it makes me seem like a masochist, it's still a fear.  A fear that it will all just fade.

I realize that this post and the one preceding it probably give the impression that I'm depressed and angry and not adjusting to "normal" life (whatever that is anymore).  That's not entirely accurate.  It's just that, in the easier, more pleasant moments, I don't really feel the need to get all of this out there.  It's the hard, sorrowful moments that call on me to be a little vulnerable about what I'm going through right now.

Usually I can hold a conversation with people about Kasie and the events surrounding her death with no problem (and, more importantly, no tears).  And, while I think about Kasie daily, I don't think about her 24/7.

But, boy, do I miss her.

Shifting gears a bit.....Here's a little piece of eye candy for you (if they don't get crossed looking at this).  Pre-Kenneth and -Kristen.  Kasie's the littlest one (obviously) and as precious as they come.  Maybe this is what I'll show my kids when they ask about Aunt Kasie some day.......

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