The end of April is hard for me and so many of the people I love. It’s been seven years tomorrow since I lost one of my best friends.
It’s hard to say seven years. How could it possibly be seven years? I still remember every tiny detail about that day. Right down to the woman who walked by with her shaggy white dog as I was crying on a bench by the lake as the sun rose through the fog around me. My world would absolutely never be the same.
Karey’s death was really hard for me to deal with for a long time. I hid from it for a while, which was easy to do living so far away from home. No one in Orlando knew her. No one knew what I had lost. If I put on a happy face, no one knew I was grieving.
But the pain and the sadness would come up at unexpected times. Like when my brother asked Karey’s brother, Mike, to be his best man. I found out while I was working the bar, and I just automatically erupted in tears. At the time, I didn’t ever think I would get married, but now Karey could never be my maid of honor.
I would drive home from work and a song would come on the radio. I would have to pull over until I could see the road through my tears again. I would be reminded of something from our childhood and go to send her a happy text that she would never get to reply to.
I felt very alone in my sadness for a long time, trying to cover it up and be the same happy party girl I was before. I was enormously lucky to find Brad, who listened and asked questions. He let me cry. He let me hysterically cry. He even stayed when I locked myself in my bathroom one night. But then he just kept on loving me. To this day, he still lets me cry when I need to. He still listens and he still asks questions.
It will always be incredibly sad and unfair that a girl with such light and love for the world was only allowed to experience so little of it. No one will ever be able to justify her being taken from us so young. But if I’ve found any acceptance, it’s that there is never going to be that justification. That we need to play the cards that we are dealt and just keep on living. We need to love each other and remember every bit about her and share our stories with each other and be there to support each other when we need to cry. But we don’t have to live in the sadness. We need to find a way I celebrate the life.
I wrote a song right after Karey died called “A Moment”. It was about wishing I had that last second with her to just tell her that I loved her one more time and to make sure she knew how much she meant to me. The song came out of holding on and wishing for something that I knew could never be.
Over the past seven years, I have had a lot of dreams about Karey. Most of the time I wake up and really, truly feel like I’ve just spent time with my best friend. We talk like nothing has changed. She hasn’t missed a beat. Family and friends are there. She’s happy. She looks beautiful.
It’s an amazing feeling to wake up with.
I absolutely believe this is Karey’s way of staying with me. So a few months ago, I was inspired to write a sequel to “A Moment” after I had dream about us just hanging out on her parent’s porch as the sun set. I was no longer holding on to the impossible. I had accepted a new way of having Karey in my life.
I look forward to those nights where she just pops in to say hello for a little while. Sometimes I even forget that I dreamt about her until days later, and when I remember it makes me smile. I hold all of my memories with her so precious, and if I can only see her in my dreams, I will cherish those as well.
So I hope you enjoy another Kelly Mathews original. This one’s called “In My Dreams”.
kms 8.2.85 – 4.29.06