Katie passed away on August 28, 2011. I wrote this a year later. It is still a good read for when I miss her and want to reconnect, to remember the spirit she is to me. And to many of you who miss her. If you didn't know Katie, please take a look and get to... she was so special.
We love you and miss you down here. I know your still with us in spirit. I feel you particularly when I laugh a lot or when for some reason I myself am funny and make people burst into a fit of giggles. I'm so sad you are not here with us any more. My best friend and sister. It's been hard coming to accept that you are really gone. There is a hole in my gut where your presence used to be, the comfort of knowing you were here with me, trying your best to figure life out. I always knew you would find your path eventually, I never would have guessed that this was God’s plan for you. I accept it today and I’ll let you go over and over again, but I still miss you deeply and this is our time, a year after your death, to feel that.
My apology to you... I tried to hold on to you, I wish I had done more and for not, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I know my apologizing and guilt are worthless but of course I wish I had done something more. Of course. I don't know what else to say. At first, I couldn’t understand it. You always seemed to get the God idea more then anyone else. Always... You felt that in your spirit for as long as I knew you... I've come to believe you were never meant to stay long. Like Rich. Say hi to Rich for me. Big tears and a smile inserted here. You are a bright shiny light sent to burn brightly, helping to ignite others. You ignited me miss Katie. You really did.
I never felt more inspired or ready to face the world as my true self then after my conversations with you. Talking for hours about God, spirituality, our maximum potential, our possibilities and how to achieve the things we wanted.
Man. Katie, you were such a powerful spirit. You still are. It feels good to reflect on what you have meant to me the last few days... You meant more to me then you ever knew, you meant more to all of us then you ever knew. I just wish I could have told you more before you left. I hope you can hear me, feel me now?
We really miss you and the world is not the same place with out you. I assure you that, like any time someone you love passes, we have tried to live stronger... We have tried to carry a positive message out of you leaving. I have tried and tried and tried to make excuses for how you were in pain and are in a better place... I know it's true but I'm still sad, selfishly, and in many ways angry to not have you here. How I would love to share the things going on in my life with you. I am so happy Katie. Life feels like a dream world. I know if you can see me you are happy. Very happy. Here's the point where we tell you we are blessed, lucky, and grateful for the opportunity to see the fragility of life with your departure, but blast. Blast. I wish it wasn't you to teach us this lesson.
I know you were tired of fighting, so I get it. I'm glad you found a way to truly be free. Really. It must feel like the permanent escape we always searched for? I'm not sure... For now Katie... We are still here missing you. Thinking of you with a smile. I'm trying to live the best I can and enjoy every moment until it’s my time... Hopefully a long time away. Stay with me :) Keep helping me along the path. I love you. I love you. We love you. We miss you and won't forget you. Ever.
My earliest and strongest memories of Katie take place at Paris on the Plat coffee shop in downtown Denver. One of our favorite places to go late night with some cigarettes and our notebooks. There we would write and drink coffee in a haze of smoke and whispers. The ambiance of that place seemed to set us free. The Waffle House on south Broadway was her staple. She even worked there at one point, embellishing that lost poet part of her. Katie was a poet, a beautiful, dark, poet. Ironic considering the lightness and joy she brought to those around her. Perhaps she kept her ghosts for the paper.
At 16 we were already troubled souls, desperate to find an answer for the loss we felt with our own existence. We found temporary solace in many places, the healthiest of which being the pen. She in particular had an incredible ability to shine her heart out regardless of what was going on inside it. Through her pen, through her voice, her laugh, her smile, her tears, her eyes... She expressed herself profoundly.
At 18 Sarah, Katie and I, all three vibrant Scorpios who often discussed our supernatural connection, decided to go to Boulder on a whim. We all 3 got a tattoo based off of a Ute North American Indian rock art symbol meaning meandering spirit. I had seen it in a museum gift shop painted on a rock when I was a child and it always stuck with me. Katie and Sarah were my meandering spirit sisters. Katie more then any of us always seemed to have her toe barely touching the earth while the rest of her floated around above waiting to let go altogether. After high school it became clear as we globe trotted in search of purpose, possibility, and ultimately happiness...that our existential angst ran deeper than the average suburban teenager. The struggle with addiction and the loss of self were key contributors to the paths we all ended up taking down the road of destiny. It makes total sense to me that she is gone... I hate that she is gone, but have to accept it. Knowing in my core that she is in a better place and happier, makes it easier to accept. She played her part loudly while she was with us and I believe continues her part somewhere else. She is no longer a meandering spirit, but free.
I miss her incredibly; there were so many parts to her that we're simply unique to Katie. As those that knew her can all agree, her laugh, her smile, her open heart were irreplaceable. She was the funniest person I ever knew and starting from the time we became friends at 14 in biology class, when the four of us girls, Kelly, Maggie, Katie and I were split up to the four corners of the room because we could not stop laughing, mostly because of Katie. Laughter. Jokes. Lightheartedness. Truly amazing. She had the ability to give impressions of other people, totally spontaneous and they would leave everyone hysterical. My favorite was her impression of Will Ferrell imitating Harey Carey, saying,” If the moon were made of cheese, would you eat it? I know I sure would."
Katie was generous beyond measure, and a total diva. I don't think any one was more fashionable in high school and beyond then Katie. She had a flare that was uniquely hers and inspiring. She showed me how to accessorize according to individuality and with confidence. She could pull off many looks, which others could not, short hair, long hair, blonde hair, red hair... Jeans, boots, high heels, flats... She matched what she was feeling with her clothes. I'll always picture her with short blood red nails; light brown hair pulled up into her high pony tail (volleyball style) with her voluminous bangs... Her bright eyes glittering, jeans, a t-shirt, with some funky golden Romanesque saddles and a huge purse filled with everything but the kitchen sink, perhaps even a small dog? Her lime green Volkswagen bug buzzing around Littleton.
A year ago today Katie surprising left behind many people who loved her dearly, and that she loved dearly; her many friends, her parents, her brothers, her sister. I know we have all found it difficult to have an open space where she used to be. Of course we have to try to find a reason for why she’s gone. The obvious message being that we have to live to the fullest, to be grateful for the life we have, make the most of the time we have with those we love. I personally have found comfort in pledging to be more lighthearted, to smile more, and to carry her in spirit so that she lives on. Perhaps I’ll add on the extra accessory, some clanging bangles or eye shadow I know she would approve of. The red nails and dark lipstick. It’s at these times that I know she isn’t far away.