Operation Forever Remembered

January 2014:

I participated in the 2013 Out of the Darkness walk, just as I did in 2012. I find it to really be empowering and helpful in knowing that we're spreading awareness and helping fund resources that save lives. Krystle's Raes of Hope will continue this annual tradition and keep Krystle's memory alive through this walk and in sharing our stories.

On a side note... it never ends. I'm definitely better than those first few months, and better than the first year... but it never goes away.

I still have nightmares where the pain rips through me... I still miss her when eating an almond pretzel with caramel.... I still see her smile when I think of her. It doesn't end, it just gets easier to live. I wish that she would have known that. Known the pain that passed from her to others, and known that it gets easier to live.

I still wish I could have hugged her until she ran out of tears, until they washed away her sadness, until she found her smile again.
I guess my real turning point should be told as well. It was another commute home, another one that I couldn't handle. It was the silence, it was the music... so much time to think and songs that I couldn't turn off that just dug into the wounds that hadn't healed. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I turned the music off and prayed for relief from the pain. It was that moment that I truly understood "giving it to God" because I did. I had no on else to turn to, and I couldn't handle the sadness anymore. It just hurt too much. Yes, I was alive, but I was not living. Not at all. I had prayed before, but I prayed for Krystle... prayed for her to have found love, prayed she was surround in God's embrace and His light, and that the darkness that gripped her was lifted.

Not once before that moment in the car did I pray for myself in my loss. And He heard me, and the next day was easier... and the next after that was easier still.

And through this I have come to know that I will never be the same. I will always remember the day she ordered an almond pretzel with caramel dip, and I looked at her like she was crazy, and she convinced me to try it, and I found out it was amazing.

When I'm riding through Seattle I will remember the only two times I drove in that city alone were to see her, and I got lost both times. But seeing her smile was totally worth it.

I know that I will never finish grieving Krystle... it will always hurt. I will always be caught off guard when the nightmares come without warning or when a long-forgotten memory surfaces. She is a part of me, because she helped build me. And without the pain, there would have been no love. And the love is what makes me smile when I think of her.
Rest in peace sweet girl. Rest and be loved forever.


2012 Update:

I have officially signed on to participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Seattle community walk on October 13th, 2012! Thanks to my amazing family and friends, I surpassed my original $150 goal the first few hours!! ($150 is the minimum donation to participate)
You can visit my walk page HERE or my team page for Krystle's Raes of Hope.

The Story:

"This is my quest for peace... for something more than I have in this moment, with these feeling I never thought I would have company with. This is my attempt at repair and redemption in the wake of a loss I never contemplated facing. This is Krystle's story... this is my story... this is where our worlds collide. "

I haven't been brave enough to write all my feelings in one place, except the journal I write to Krystle in. There I am safe. There she understands and comforts me. There is where I have her again. But I think it's important. I think that we need to talk about the things that hurt us most, because there is probably someone out there that is hurting too, and they may be waiting for us to talk. May be praying for someone to talk, for someone that understands. And that is where our shining moment is people. That is where we can save each other.

Let's start from the beginning... Krystle and I were best friends in school... we were name twins, polar opposites and she was the Yin to my Yang. We loved as fiercely as sisters. I cherished her deeply and protected her from what I could. We cried tears in our closets together and we found joy and refuge in our favorite songs, the songs that "got" us.

(this is from a Michelle Branch song... Krystle introduced me to my love for her music)

I recently read this on Two Write Love on Her Arms:
  • "I would rather write her a song, because songs don't wait to resolve, and because songs mean so much to her. Stories wait for endings, but songs are brave things bold enough to sing when all they know is darkness. These words, like most words, will be written next to midnight, between hurricane and harbor, as both claim to save her."
And that's it. Her and I... we sought release and comfort in paper that couldn't judge us, and looked to music to soothe our souls' aches. Moods always defined in melodies. And always the tugging between hope and despair that promised release. We were rocks... for each other.

We were inseparable. Constantly making plans for adventures... or girl's weekends filled with pizza rolls and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. 16 meant our freedom from our houses and 18 was supposed to be freedom from the world... because our adventures were only beginning. But it wasn't to be... I moved and our friendship was tucked into that place that you visit when the opportunity arises, or in dire times. Life is quick to carry kids and teens away from their plans and make new plans for them. But we always remained best friends, because we built each other, connected like only a skyscraper and the sky can be. But we were apart from each other, and it did not go without consequence.

On June 11th, 2012... after a few years of grown-up life and not seeing each other... Krystle killed herself.
... My world crashed around me. So many things running through my mind and my heart constricting in pain. How could this happen? Why didn't she come to me? I should have known. I should have made more time. What was she thinking? What a stupid decision. I was so mad at her and so completely overwhelmed with... with so much. I don't think that you truly understand the pain and guilt in a loss until it hits home... and, let me tell you, this one busted down my front door.

And I cried. And I cried. And I cried. And I never thought I would stop crying. Or that I deserved to, because if my pain was half the pain she felt every day... I understood her decision.

 And I prayed while I cried... I prayed for her.

And honestly... the only thing that kept me grounded was my family. My husband, who was just as much at a loss at how to deal with me as I was. And my children that only bring joy to my days. And the day came where I was cried out... and I was just sad.

It's been 2 months and 12 days since that day. Her first birthday spent in Heaven has already passed. And while I'm functioning better than I did those first couple weeks, I'm still unbelievably sad. There isn't a commute to or from work that I don't think about her. There isn't a place I don't look for her. There isn't a day that has passed when I've missed her less than the first.

I've done tons of Google searches for... well, anything. Sad words that understand me. Poems that suicide survivors have written. Guidance on finding peace. Hope.

I enjoy my days, my family, activities... truly, I do. It's when life is quiet, when the room is dark... the world leaves me to think that it hits me. It's in a song that I can't turn off or in a situation that she would know best, that I find her. It's in chocolate chip pancakes. It's in a ballet recital.

And seriously... how does that work? Do all people function this way? Can a person function properly this way? I've always felt broken... damaged somehow... but now... I just don't know if it gets easier than this. If it should. If it will.

So, these are my days. Smiling in new joys and harboring a sadness that doesn't give reprieve. Like a constant drizzle of rain on the biggest of birthdays; you can't help but enjoy it, but you still get wet if you step out into the day.

This is where I'm at. This place. This... point in time when I have to move forward, but just can't seem to find a way to fully live. This is where I decide.

And here is where I begin my journey of living double; once for me, and yet for her at the same time. This is where I need to make a difference. To make her story matter more than just defining my sorrow.

This... This is where I am forever changed.

You can follow my Forever Remembered board on Pineterest HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Krystle you are an amazing person for all those you touch with your kindness I know this first hand and another thing I am sure of is Krystle is looking down on you smiling knowing that you are keeping her memory alive. I love you cousin!!!!