Tuesday, August 5, 2008


OK, so this is a random thought post.....no pictures...no scrappy stuff...just questions??
Let me give you a little background.....I lost my brother when he was 19. He had Muscular Dystrophy and some other medical issues. He wasn't supposed to die young though....He didn't (questioning this now) have the form of MD that made you die young....so it was a shock. My brother's name was Ben. I was 21 when he died. He died at a friends house...he called my Mom in the middle of the night...and said he couldn't sleep...he just couldn't get comfortable. They told each other "I love you"....then the next morning...he was gone. Trauma...BIG trauma...life flight etc...
So...I marry Derek...at age 27. He has 2 brothers...Jake and Ian. So eventually Jake meets Chandra. She has been in our lives for 8 years (Myself, Derek and the kids)....and then her only brother gets a brain tumor...and dies at age 24. Jake and Chandra get married....
Are you following me here? So now the 2 wives have lost our only brothers....and now Ian...so now BOTH of our husbands have lost a brother at age 19..
Do you think this is weird?? Were we meant to be with these guys to guide them through this process? Now all 4 of us have lost our brothers.
So, then I look at this ...and it's this horrible deja vu...Cause now I question heaven...and how could someone be here and then just NOT here. What happens when people die? How does it work?
I know that nobody can answer these questions...and TRUST me....my kids are asking me...and I don't know what to say.. I'm trying. Really I am. But I just feel my chest crushing...and I give a lame answer...like, OH....Heaven is peaceful and the guys are just hanging out up there listening to Bob Marley...and watching us down here struggling with daily life...
My girls keep writing him notes....they are everywhere in my house. They are stuck to my fridge with magnets....and I wonder, can Ian hear the messages? Or did he just end when he was killed?
And why? WHY this family? You see, Ian's death is different....cause the thing is that I found peace with Ben's death. It was his time (or so I convinced myself)...and he was whole again....and happy. For Chandra, losing her brother is still pretty fresh and I honestly don't know where she is at with it....sad, I know..but we've been away for a long time. Now we live in the same city but don't get to see each other much...but that's a whole different story...
OK, back on track here...so for Ian, it's different...cause he was "killed"...being killed and dying are 2 different things.
Why the "HELL" was this guy on the road? 2 people are dead because of his decision to drive that night. When we saw him in court on Friday...he just stared at us....with this blank weird look. No compassion for this grieving family. Just weird...flat. Why is that? Does he know what he did? I don't get it.
He pleaded "not guilty"...what the heck is that all about? He was almost double the legal limit....and his skid marks start way before Ian even got to that horrible spot on the road. They go into the other lane, back to his lane and then a hard left turn right into Ian's car.
SO now this guy has a lawyer...you know what? Just take responsibility and just say, "I did it..." Why do people NEVER take responsibility for what they do...it's a blame game all the time.
I'm not worried that this guy won't get convicted..His bail is $400K. He has a suspended license and like 14 "failure to appear" and other traffic violations...the judge tacked on $500 for each of them...there were people at the scene that saw him...etc....hard facts...but I just don't want my in-laws and brother-in-law to be dragged through this. Derek is back on his ship..and gets back at the end of November...so his only access to the trial is email with us....but he'll be dragged in also....do NOT want this for my family.
I honestly love my husbands family so deeply. They are the kind of people that DO not judge..they just accept. They are loving to everybody. They really are special people. It's a pure love. Really. So, I ache so much for them. I don't know what to do...I just want to wrap my arms around them and take it all away.
You know...I remember when I was little...we lived in Florida (yep, my Dad was a Navy pilot also)...and I shared a room with my sister. I was a night owl...for real...My bed was right next to the window. I would lay awake for hours...hours and hours. I would look at the stars and wish. I would wish that God would take my brothers illnesses and pass some of them on to me and Jodi (my sister)...that we would all just be a little "sick"...so he wouldn't be the "only one". I also blessed my grandparents...my parents...my siblings...my cat..my dog...the neighbors...I would pray for World peace and for all the starving people in Africa. The normal prayers I guess...except for the ones for Ben.
So, I now feel that same way...like I just want to absorb this pain...but don't know how.
I'm sorry for all this rambling...Something is wrong with me tonight....I just feel ancy and I can't sleep....I miss my husband so much...and I ache for my kids because they miss him so much too...and I'm just not sure what I am supposed to do with all this....I guess just process it...and take it minute by minute.
Any advice would be so great. Please don't think I'm crazy...with all this rambling....Really, I'm just a frumpy stay at home Navy wife..who likes to scrapbook and collect vintage stuff....


Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

I'm still so sorry for your loss...I truly can't understand the immense pain, but I can try. I sometimes wish we could see God's big picture so we'd have understanding of events that happen, but that doesn't happen very often that we get to understand the "why" of everything. Good comes out of everything for those that believe.

Sara said...

hi Katie -
I'm so sorry you're going through so much grief and loss and sorrow right now. I know that doesn't even really describe it. My DH used to be in the Navy, so I remember the separations, and I know that each time they leave the process of adjusting to them being gone starts over, so I know that is probably making things harder too for you, and him and your family. But, I KNOW they will get better! Hang in there! I don't have much advice, but I did think of a book when I was reading your post. It is titled "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and there is another titled "When God Doesn't Make Sense". Both are by Dr. James Dobson. There might be some good info on the Focus on the Family website too. Hope that helps!~

Anonymous said...

I question God all the time, so I know that feeling. A bit of hopelessness...I'm so sorry for the loss of your BIL, and the loss to your family. It makes no sense. It makes me sad and it makes me angry. Stay strong for your girls. They need you. Maybe that will help you get through this...?

Michelle @ AMM

Katherine said...

Hey Katie!

I know how hard it must be for you to handle all of this alone. You are a strong woman with a great heart and you will get through this. I wish I had words that would make you feel better but I know there isn't any.

Trust in yourself, your heart and God that you, your family and Derek's family will be okay. You will have good days and bad days. But the good days will outweigh the bad days.

I one of those people that believe there is a reason for everything. Be thankful that you moved back to CA when you did and had some time with Ian instead being so far away and so far removed. I know you feel like you are still removed but your not.

You and Derek will be back together soon. Your family will heal and your in-laws will learn to be at peace too. I am sure they feel very thankful to have you as a daughter-in-law.

And no you are not frumpy. I think your beautiful inside and out. I always admired your talent and wish that I had just an ounce of your creativity. I still have that "create" board you made in my scrap room and I think about you almost everyday when I look at.

I frequently ask Carol how you are doing. And I check your blog just to see what's new. I was so sad to see what has been going on in your life. You are an inspiration to many people and I am sure your girls are your number one fan.

Keep doing what your doing. Especially the blog thing. It is probably good for you to write it all down. A few weeks or months from now, you'll see how strong you are and how proud you should be!

Take care of yourself Katie! I do miss seeing you and I especially miss your talent!


Elissa Zeeb said...

What a tragedy. I grew up in Julian and spent time with Derek, Jacob and Ian. (My parents still live there)I used to accompany my friends Varina & Veronica to babysit Ian when he was a baby. My mother called me early one morning to tell me the sad news. My heart goes out to you and the entire family. Please know that there are many, many people who are thinking of you all.~ Sincerely, Elissa Zeeb aka Lisa Flores

CrystalMN said...

Katie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't pretend to know what your going through. I know grief, not of lossing a brother but of lossing my parents to cancer. Just know that your pain will lessen even though it will always be with you. God has his reasons even though we may not always understand. Stay strong for those sweet girls.


Whitney said...

Katie, I sent a message through two peas, I am a dork...anyway, I am VERY sorry to hear your pain. I am going to totally agree w/denise
comment. God is good, we will never know why things happen the way they do. It took my husbands brother at age 9 to die to bring him and his parents to a personal relationship with Christ. Again, it is horrible, I am really sorry. I am glad you posted this, its good to share and get support.

Shemaine said...

Hi Katie, my favorite past time these days is to ready blogs and find blogs off of other blogs. I found yours today. I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your bravery to put your feelings out there for all but there is just something therapudic about it. As for your most recent post iI believe that God does have a way of bringing us together. I think he did bring all of your together to hold eachother up not only for you but your kids. It's funny I had the worst day today and got so upset over something really wuite silly now that I have read what you are dealing with in your life. It reminds me to no sweat the small stuff. Thanks for speaking to me...

Aubrey said...

Oh Katie, my heart bleeds for you and your extended family.

Please know that I'm praying for ALL of you.

May God's grace and love ease your pain.

I miss you and wish I was there to give you a great big HUG!

Sharon R said...

I know you and your family are suffering such grief that comes with a young person's sudden death. I leave in a small town where such a tragedy happened the first of June. A 13 yr. old boy was killed in a car accident and 3 other young boys were severly injured. The mother of the boy who was killed has a blog that you might take some comfort in looking at. Her blog address is: www.rhondasjournal.blogspot.com.

I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


Rhonda Robinson said...


After reading the comment you left on my blog, I had to visit you. You’re so right. Losing someone, when you have the sense that it was “their time” whether young or old, is easier to accept and understand, than when their life was taken from them.

We had a similar experience. The police didn’t think the man was drunk that hit our boys, but he never touched his breaks. He hit them broadside with full force; 60 mph in a full size truck. My youngest son took the impact. There were no signs of him trying to stop. Why didn’t he see a truck full of boys? Why didn’t he try to stop?

You mentioned in one of your posts, you struggled with what to tell the girls. I wanted to share with you what I have been telling my grandchildren, and Dan’s grieving friends.

Have you ever dropped your clothes on the floor? That’s what he did. Our Dan, the Uncle that loved you so, that laughed with you, teased you, he needed that body to stay here on earth. But when he got a chance to go to heaven, he dropped that body on the ground and went.

It seems to make sense to them.

Get some rest. Nap often, grief is exhausting.


Charlotte Cramer said...

This has just got to be so very hard!!! I can't even imagine. I really don't have any advice except to keep journaling about it. Get it out. God does have a plan. We don't understand it. But, from reading about this horrible accident, it makes me appreciate everyday for sure. God bless and I will still be praying for you, and your family. Charlotte

Teresa said...

I can't pretend to understand what this is like for you, but I wanted to share a song with you. I will warn you that it makes me cry and I haven't even lost someone to a drunk driver. However, I find music incredibly therapeutic when bad things happen, so I thought I'd share it!

The link is http://www.dangerouslycrafty.com/music/NoMother.mp3

The song is "No Mother" by Old 97's. It's fantastic.

I grew up with a Navy father, so I can identify with that aspect of this, but know you're in my thoughts and prayers - as are your adorable kiddos.

Dedra Long said...

I'm so sorry Katie....

I can't imagine going through the pain you and your family are feeling. I do know what it's like to get davistating news that changes your life forever and that was hard and exhausting....

Stay strong for the girls and if you need to talk please CALL me anytime....

((((Big Hugs to you and the girls!!!))))

Gabrielle said...


I know your pain. I know the confusion. When my mom died, the world stood still. I couldn't understand how the rest of the world kept going. My thoughts and sorrow were overwhelming. I've learned that grief is so different for everyone. And it's personel depending on your relationship to the person who died and how others are grieving around you.

Be thankful for each moment and cherish the memories. We can't change what is, we have to go on. Even when the world seems to stand still for us, the time we have is precious.

Love, lots and lots of love for your family! Be honest with your girls, it's ok if we don't have all the answers. And it's ok for them to see you grieve.

I hope your feeling better tonight!

Coochies & All said...

Hello Katie - I've been following your blog recently, and I am so very sorry for your loss, and for the pain you're feeling at the moment. I just want you to know that someone (me) here in Singapore which is very far away from where you live, feels for you. I hope that helps. :)
elaine t

About Me. said...

Katie, I am so very sorry to hear about your families loss. I found your blog through Holly McCaig. I wish I had all of the answers that you need right now. I do have a poem that helped me greatly when I lost my mother at 16 and my father when I was 7 months pregnant. I think it could help your little ones. It is worth a shot.
I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Love and God bless,


Never look down for me after I leave your sight

Nothing of me is there-for who can imprison light

Look for me in the starts- on a scented night in spring

Nearer to you than your heart-for space is a human thing.

Look for me in the rose-the gold in a sunset sky

For love has transfigured me-the mortal that once was I

Look for me in the dawn-when the day is new and fair

Now and eternally, call me and I shall be there

As you cannot conceive my freedom from time and space

Why do you think it's strange that you cannot see my face?

Trust in that inner sense that you and I hold dear

Of knowing beyond a doubt, that I am truly here...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just came across your blog... and I can't seem to stop crying. I'm just so sad and I'm so sorry for everything you and your family are going through right now. I can't imagine the kind of pain you must be experiencing right now, or the pain you experienced when your own brother passed away. I don't know why I can't stop crying...

I wish I could help you with your questions... but I am not religious in any way. During moments like these, I wish I was. I can't give you any words of comfort about God's Plan, but I can tell you to listen to Randy Pausch's lecture. Death is not separate from life, it is part of life.

Ian looked like a great person who loved his family very much. Your family's treasured memories of him is his life after death. Don't be afraid to share them and to speak of him. I wish you and your family all the best. Please, take care.