13 Years ago this morning, we were all in very different places. And in the hours and days and months that followed 8:25 on the morning of April 10, 2004 – I heard a lot of “She’s in a better place” and “Time heals all wounds.”

The things people say when they aren’t yet aware that they can simply remain silent, and that works just as well for people who are getting aquatinted with grief.

I’m no expert on this, but I can tell you that I never ever thought this was a bad place… to be, and time can go and fuck itself for all I care – because, if anything…Time has a way of (sometimes) making it worse. There have been 13 years of missed memories and ones I know we have still yet to live without her physically being here. We’re not healed, not really.

We’ve just found incredibly beautiful ways to live this new life. We’ve found beauty in pain and tears, and we’ve grown stronger through laughter and all those memories we’ve gone on to create – because she has lived on in our hearts. We’re a mosaic of broken pieces, 13 years later. Beautiful, but still broken.

I hate that we have had to live without her, but I love that people have come to trust us in being some of the first they run to when grief has come to meet them. I am proud that we’ve gone on to hold their hands, help them through, and that we’ve endured by giving back. It’s a part of the process I think Kellie knew we would come to own, and I know she’s proud of us.

From those moments in the hospital, I knew. And while I realize this could all just be my own way of “making it easier” – It always felt like she got to see the future she would’ve had, the one that would’ve likely rendered her unable to do the things 18 year old kids want to do. I think she knew the conversations that were happening around her, and I think she got a glimpse of this new life we’d all be living too. That she got to see all the years after that week…and I think she made a choice. Either way, life after that week was going to be different…

So, it wasn’t that she was leaving, because we all know she hasn’t. It was just that she wanted us to know the life she saw. The paths we possibly would’ve never known…if not for her.

There are plenty of moments in life where we get to choose. We get to choose each morning to be happy, for example. And we get to choose, quite frequently, the path to wander down – from our careers to our relationships – we have a say. Death leaves you with very few choices, but life…that’s the part where we get to create our own adventure.

13 years ago we were all in different places, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind…that Kellie helped get us to here & now. Today has been about celebrating her life for 13 years now, that’ll never change…but, I also think…it’s a good day to celebrate how far we’ve come…and the beautiful lives we’re living thanks to a kid who gave us our heartbeat. 💙

Tags : #LiveOutLoudKellie ShimanskyLive Out Loud
Casie {kay-cee; KC}

The author Casie {kay-cee; KC}

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