I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. I am attracted to some people immediately just by being in their presence. That is how it was with Kathlyn and me. As soon as I met her, I just knew we were going to be in each other’s lives for a long time. Our daughter’s were in kindergarten together and we met at their elementary school. I was having a hard time leaving my baby girl at the school, as I was very protective of her. She was my constant companion for the past 5 years and now I had to walk away from her for 4 hours a day. I was struggling with it so much, I started going to counseling. I wasn’t close to my mom and had no family in town and I felt alone and scared. And when I met Kathlyn she made me feel safe, and ok about things. She was tall with red hair and had a personality larger than life. She wore amazing scarves and talked with enthusiasm and conviction. I always knew where I stood with her, because she was the type of person that would let you know what she thought. She was creative, theatrical, fun and boisterous. She took me under her wing and I became part of her group of friends. I started to feel better about things, and I could see that my naturally social daughter was thriving in kindergarten. Birthday parties and princesses were our girls main concern at that time and Kathlyn threw the best parties. The girls would be transported for an afternoon to an imaginary castle with pink table cloths and white cupcakes. My daughter and her daughter became fast friends. My daughter loved going to Kathlyn’s house after school as there was always something fun happening. They played dress up with endless costumes and performed on a makeshift stage in their backyard. They always had the latest electronic equipment, and fun games to play. My daughter felt safe and cared for there. It became my daughter’s second home. To this day Kathlyn’s daughter is still my daughter’s oldest and dearest friend. In fact, they are more than friends they are sisters.
We made fudge together, we spent birthdays together, we spent Christmas’ together. We watched our daughter’s grow from little girls to women together. So the very best part of our lives, we spent with each other. As our girls graduated from high school and my daughter left town to go away to college we haven’t been as close. I thought of her often, and her daughter still frequents my house, but we didn’t get together anymore. That is why the news of her death shocked me. I thought I had more time. I thought there would come a time that maybe we would reconnect. Even if not in the same way, maybe in a new way. At least connect enough to see each other on occasion. But now I won’t get that chance, and that is hard to accept.
It is hard to imagine that a person so full of life isn’t alive anymore. My brain just can’t comprehend it. I feel her, and the feeling of her will always be with me. But she is physically gone. I am not sure if I believe in heaven. I can’t picture it, so it is hard for me to believe. I do believe in the spirit of someone though. I think that my initial attraction to her over 15 years ago had something to do with our sprits. Otherwise why would I have had that feeling of attraction? Something in me wanted to be a part of her life without knowing that much about her. Wanting to be her friend wasn’t a thought out plan for me, it was an impulse that I followed. She told me later that she had seen me at the school too, and wanted to be my friend. So, we both felt it. From that point forward we combined and intertwined our lives. That was not by chance, it was a feeling beyond either of us that pulled us together and kept us together for many years.
I believe that lives on. It lives on in me, and in our daughters. That initial attraction I felt for her and she felt for me lives on in our spirits. We were meant to watch our daughters grow up together. We were meant to become family, and our daughters were meant to be sisters. Death cannot take that away. Death cannot take away my memories and the love I feel for her. It cannot take away all of the people she touched and all of the beauty she created.
I want to analyze it instead of just feel the sadness of it. I want to somehow make sense of it, so that I can find some meaning and be ok with it. Maybe there is no meaning or good in it. Maybe death is just the ending of life, and that is all. Everything else is just created so that those left behind can come to terms with losing someone close to them. Also the people left behind have to come to terms with their own mortality when someone close to them dies. One day that will be me. One day I will die. I wonder how, or when that will happen. It scares me for me, and also for my family and people close to me. I don’t want to die. I like being alive. I feel like I still have so much left to do with my time here on earth.
Yeah, I guess it does. It definitely makes me wonder why I tried so hard to numb myself in the past so that I really wasn’t living my life. It makes me question why I used to try so hard to hide myself instead of using that same energy to put any small talents that I have out into the world. When I think that death will come to me eventually it seems kind of silly to spend one more minute doing anything but moving towards what I really want. I don’t know when I will die but as long as I am alive why would I try and not live?
I have certain qualities that are unique only to me. I believe that those unique qualities are what will be remembered about me, because that is what I remember about my friend. It wasn’t any particular thing she said or did, but it was the way that she did it and said it. No one will ever live exactly the way Kathlyn did. No one will live exactly the way I have lived, or you have lived. When I think about it that way, we are all quite miraculous beings. Millions of people will be born, and millions of people will die. But the unique energy of all of us will only happen once. The unique way in which each of chooses to express ourselves and live our life is a one time event, and will never happen again. That uniqueness is what will be remembered about us by those closest to us. I believe that uniqueness is our spirit. And that is what lives on.