Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letting Go

Whew. Sorry I'm late. Thanks for checking back (if you did :) ). So, the Letting Go Blog Hop is hosted by Kyra Lennon whose novella, If I Let You Go, just came out. You can buy it on Amazon, and you should :)

The hop consists of writers telling their stories of Letting Go. So, here's mine...which is also an excerpt from my memoir :)

The End of the World
The world doesn’t end in fire and brimstone. It doesn’t end by nuclear explosion, or oil spills, or Mother Nature finally getting pissed off and having a hurricane/tornado/tsunami/landslide/earthquake. Well, maybe actually it does. But not the end of my world. My world ended close to the start of my sophomore year of high school.
I was sitting at the computer, still working on my masterpiece. The phone rang, and my mother called for me.
“Hello?” I asked, grabbing the phone from her.
Laura’s voice rang through on the other end. “Steph, Kellie’s been in a car accident.”
The breath in my chest fell out, like one of the times I’d slipped through the ice when I was younger and unsupervised. I’d been waiting for her to get online. “Is she okay?” I asked, careful not to think anything bad.
“We’re not sure. Everything I’m hearing is sketchy. I’ve heard she might lose her legs, I’ve heard she’s in a coma, I’ve heard…” there were a million possibilities. “The only thing I’m sure of is that she was in a car accident, and it sounds pretty bad.”
What if Kellie can’t walk? What if she dies? Though I tried to fight it, I began to cry. I can’t live without Kellie, I can’t live without Kellie. She’s fine, she’s fine, she’s fine. “When you hear anything…” Let her be fine, let her be fine.
The tattoo I got in honor of Kellie
It reads:
It's just a moment of change KLW 10
“I’ll let you know as soon as I know more.”
I went to the kitchen, sobbing and handed my mom the phone. “Talk to Laura.”
“What is going on?” Mom asked when she saw my face.
“Talk to Laura!” I screamed, before running up the stairs. Alone in my bedroom, I sat on the edge of my bed, writing Kellie’s name in ink just below my thumb. I’m not going to wash this off until I know she’s okay.
I cried for hours, praying, God, please let her live. Let her be okay. Please let her live, while grossly thinking, Well, if she dies, at least I’ll have a reason to be depressed any time I want.
I half slept that night, waiting for the phone to ring and tell me anything, ideally that Kellie was okay and really it was just a rear ending. They happened every day in the school parking lot. No one was ever seriously hurt. It wasn’t a bad accident. It couldn’t be a bad accident. Kellie had to be fine, I can’t live without her.
In the morning, in a haze, I showered, ate breakfast, and as I put toothpaste on my toothbrush, the phone rang. My blood froze in my veins. She’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead.
“Hello?” I asked, not bothering to check the caller ID, I knew damn well who it was.
“Steph, I’m so sorry,” Laura’s voice said, much more gently than when she’d told me about Kara. “Kellie didn’t make it.”
My legs were unable to bear my weight. I threw the phone away from me as though I could unheard the words. “No!” I screamed, over, and over, and over, collapsing to a heap on the floor.
My mother woke to my screams.
Me and Laura
Until our friends passed away, we kind of umm...
hated each other
I went to school that day and cried almost every second of every class. When a friend asked, “Why are you here? Why aren’t you home?” I laid on the floor in the commons in the fetal position, and continued to cry. “Because if I wasn’t here, forcing myself to keep moving, this is what I’d be doing.” 
Days later, I called my youth group to tell them that on October 6, 2003, I didn’t need a ride to church. I wouldn’t be in attendance, because I’d be at my sister’s funeral instead.
That morning, I woke up on the floor of a mutual friend’s house. Laura and several others were scattered around me before I remembered that Kellie was dead, and we were burying her today. While we got ready, Laura read a poem I’d written our loud, causing me to cry harder and harder.
“Steph,” one of our friends said, “you should read that at the funeral.”
I cried harder. “I’m not sure I can.”
“If you can’t, I’ll read it for you,” my sister offered.
I nodded gratefully. When everyone was ready, we made our walk to the funeral. It was held in the same church that Kara’s had been. In the middle of the road I stopped moving.
“You ready to do this?” Laura asked gently.
            “As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.”

It took years before I really said goodbye to Kellie. As it is, her anniversary passed this month and, as always, it was difficult to get through. I miss her, on a daily basis. I have let go of the hope that'd she'd come back, and that maybe, like a soap opera this is all fake and she's been kidnapped by an evil ex lover, and is getting brain washed only to come back to us. I've let go of the guilt associated with outliving her. And I've let go of the anger associated with her death (ahem, mostly).

The reality is, she got in a car accident. It wasn't her fault, and though she was only 17, maybe she lived enough life. I know her influence is seen in me every day, whether it's just because I stop and enjoy the color orange, or because I listen to a Godsmack song. She was in my life, and I am grateful for that.

I will never, never, let go of the love that I still feel for her.


  1. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. Death is tough at any age, but when you're young, and the person you lose is young it makes you question everything. :(

    Thank you for being part of the blog hop!

  2. Thank you for sharing this very intense and personal story! Letting go of a loved one has to be the hardest thing, especially when the person is so young.

  3. What an intimate post. Thank you for sharing. I believe that we can hold onto the love forever; even after to object of our affection is gone.

  4. wow. ur story totally had me reading it like a book. compelling and very tragic. sorry for the loss you have experienced.

  5. Such a beautifully written story of such a tragic event. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  6. Holy cow that was intense. I read every single word. This is beautifully written! I instantly related, having lost a close friend of mine. I remember screaming and running to my room. I was so mad at God for taking my friend. I couldn't even begin to understand the loss of a sister. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

    I can't wait to read more!!! I know this will be a powerful read.

  7. I am really sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.


Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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