She was only in her early thirties.
Katie and her husband Keith, along with their two children, have been an internal part of our lives for about seven years now. Our daughters were born within a week of each other.
They came over for dinner on a regular basis, we had birthday parties, Halloween parties, and they became renowned for their annual Christmas party.
Everybody loved Katie.
She had lost her parents earlier in life, and I always thought that it was for this reason that she saw life and all of us so deeply.
She decided to rise from her adversity, have a family and children, and enjoy life to the fullest every moment.
She was the one who tied balloons on your mailbox on your birthday.
She was the one who knew you better and on a deeper level than anyone else did.
Knowing that I didn’t drink, she would always make sure to have a pot of coffee when we went over there.
She had insisted on coming over to our house and moving Heather’s car around in the driveway every day while we were away for the holidays. “I’m not gonna take care of your animals but I will move the car around to make it look like somebody is home.” she said.
When we arrived home from our trip, the car was sitting directly in the center of the driveway, where Katie had parked it.
Needless to say, a lot of us have been walking around in a daze all month.
I cry a little bit at a time every day. Heather has been crying herself to sleep every night and asked me last night, “When will I stop crying?”
And then she said, “I just want her to come back!”
This is a hard one.
It hurts a lot and in the deepest of places.
We know that Katie would never have agreed to leave her children. This would be her worst nightmare.
Personally, I do not remember deciding to come to earth. For me, it was as if I just woke up here in this body. I slowly came into consciousness.
So why should we think that we have any say about when and how we leave here?
And being okay with that reality is not the easiest thing to do.
But that is the reality, and that is what Katie’s passing has brought to the table for all of us.
Nevertheless, I do not feel as if the world is cruel and random. That never felt right to me. After all, we are on a large rock, we are surrounded by gravitational force that is just perfect, the rock is rotating around the sun while spinning at a whopping 66,000 miles an hour.
So what I have told my wife and will continue to tell her, as well as myself, is “Ask yourself what you can learn from Katie.” “Ask yourself how you can take your experiences with her and rise up and be a better person.” “Ask yourself how can we be to other people, what she was to us.”
The Reverend Dale Worley told me the other night that, “Some people just shut down and go away, and others just rise up and get stronger.”
And he is exactly right.
In the past couple of weeks, I have wanted to shut down and just go away and quit everything.
But I am not going to. I am not going backwards. My wife and I will keep going onward together, along with all those who love us and who loved Katie so dearly.
I will continue to spread the message that though we don’t always understand it, and sometimes it really hurts, all things in the Universe are in Divine Order. The Universe IS Divine Order.
Nothing is ever going to be the same again. Things have changed. We are going to change.
Let our lights shine a little brighter. Let us shine a little brighter onto those around us.
Things ain’t gonna be the same, that is for sure.
Because we knew Katie, our lives are going to be better. In this way, she will always be with us.