Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.

Katie…oh Katie…2 years gone.

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Her contagious beautiful smile shining from her heart...

Two years ago today, we all woke up to a different world. Katie left us.

This year, in reflection… I don’t know really what to say. I still feel the gapping hole in my life where she used to fill it with trips to get coffee, getting our hair done (her doing my hair), BBQs, walks around town, shopping, talking about our life dreams and ambitions…plotting. Lots of plotting.  I simply miss her in my life.

As I prepare for my wedding in January, it is even more clear that she is really gone. She would have been my maid of honor and been right by my side as we make the “big” decisions (accessories, color scheme, the guy to marry)… I’m really missing her. I always miss her.

For anyone that knew her, I imagine we all do.

There are have been times recently, where I just blurt out to someone when discussing the wedding or talking about dear friends, “Yeah, my best friend died”… it comes out cold and awkward and I’m left with the chill of inappropriateness. At those moments, it just doesn’t seem real and I’m ashamed of myself. How could I possibly talk about it so openly? Like it should stay hidden inside and kept secret. But thats not right either.  Then there are the times alone in my room, when I look at her photo watching over me, and just at that moment, her song is on and I can so clearly feel her with me. Tears stream down my face and at those moments, I understand. And it is real.

This week,  I find myself back home in Denver. I have been cleaning out my closets and going through old things. Getting ready for our next move and a trip to Mexico to make final wedding preparations. In the midst of this process, I ran across many old photos of  high school, and of her. I’m going to share them.  We can all think of her fondly and send her lots of love vibes…

We love you Katie!

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My earliest memories of Katie take place at Paris on the Plat coffee shop in downtown Denver. One of our favorite places to go late night with some pens and paper. There we would write and drink coffee in a haze of smoke and whispers. The ambiance of that place seemed to set us free. The Waffle House on south Broadway was her staple. She even worked there at one point, embellishing that lost poet part of her.  Katie was a poet, a beautiful, dark, poet. Ironic considering the lightness and joy she brought to those around her. Perhaps she kept her ghosts for the paper.

At 16 we were already troubled souls, desperate to find an answer for the loss we felt with our own existence. We found temporary solace in many places, the healthiest of which being the pen. She in particular had an incredible ability to shine her heart out regardless of what was going on inside it. Through her pen, through her voice, her laugh, her smile, her tears, her eyes… She expressed herself profoundly.

At 18 Sarah, Katie and I, all three vibrant Scorpios who often discussed our supernatural connection, decided to go to Boulder on a whim. We all 3 got a tattoo based off of a Ute North American Indian rock art symbol meaning“meandering spirit”. I had seen it in a museum gift shop painted on a rock when I was a child and it always stuck with me. Katie and Sarah were my meandering spirit sisters. Katie more then any of us always seemed to have her toe barely touching the earth while the rest of her floated around above waiting to let go altogether. After high school it became clear as we globe trotted in search of purpose, possibility, and ultimately happiness…that our existential angst ran deeper than the average suburban teenager. The struggle with addiction and the loss of self were key contributors to the paths we all ended up taking down the road of destiny. It makes total sense to me that she is gone…  I hate that she is gone, but have to accept it. Knowing in my core that she is in a better place and finally at peace, makes it easier for me to accept.

I miss her incredibly; there were so many parts to her that were simply unique to Katie.  As those that knew her can all agree, her laugh, her smile, her open heart were irreplaceable. She was the funniest person I ever knew and starting from the time we became friends at 14 in biology class, when the four of us girls, Kelly, Maggie, Katie and I were split up to the four corners of the room because we simply could not stop laughing, mostly because of Katie.  Laughter. Jokes. Lightheartedness. Truly amazing. She had the ability to give impressions of other people, totally spontaneous and they would leave everyone hysterical. My favorite was her impression of Will Ferrell imitating Harey Carey, saying,” If the moon were made of cheese, would you eat it? I know I sure would.”

Katie was generous beyond measure, and a total diva. I don’t think any one was more fashionable in high school and beyond then Katie. She had a flare that was uniquely hers and inspiring. She showed me how to accessorize according to individuality and with confidence. She could pull off many looks, which others could not, short hair, long hair, blonde hair, red hair… jeans, boots, high heels, flats… She matched what she was feeling with her clothes. I’ll always picture her with short blood red nails; light brown hair pulled up into her high pony tail (volleyball style) with her voluminous bangs… Her bright eyes glittering, jeans, a t-shirt, with some funky golden Romanesque sandles and a huge purse filled with everything but the kitchen sink, perhaps even a small dog? Her lime green Volkswagen bug buzzing around Littleton. Diva indeed.

Two years ago today Katie surprisingly left behind many people who loved her dearly, and that she loved dearly; her many friends, her parents, her brothers, her sister. I know we have all found it difficult to have an open space where she used to be. Of course we have to try to find a reason for why she’s gone. The obvious message being that we have to live to the fullest, to be grateful for the life we have, and mostly to make the most out of the time we have with those we love. I personally have found comfort in pledging to be more lighthearted, to smile more, and to carry her in spirit so that she lives on. Perhaps I’ll add on the extra accessory, some clanging bangles or eye shadow I know she would approve of. The red nails and dark lipstick. It’s at these times that I know she isn’t far away.

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*** Please visit Taozi Tree Yoga on Facebook for more on Taozi’s travels, inspiration, and yoga pictures!***

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Author: taozirae

Theresa, known as Taozi 桃子(Peach)to her Chinese students, has been teaching yoga since 2008. She has studied many types of yoga with world renowned teachers from all over the planet. China, the United States, Australia, and India. With over 1000 hours of YTT experience she is thrilled to have the opportunity to share the sweetness of her eclectic practice with others. Her life philosophy is that “The seeds we water are the seeds that grow “…wherever we decide to put our energy, our thoughts, and our actions are the areas of our lives that will grow. Life is about learning to water the right seeds!

18 thoughts on “Katie…oh Katie…2 years gone.

  1. She sounds like quite a wonderful human being, that’s why she is an angel now 🙂
    If it’s not too painful for you, may I ask how did she pass away?

    • Hi Erika, She was a very special person. She over dosed. Totally unnecessary. It was something she struggled with for a while… But like I said, she always just had one toe on the ground…

      • How unnecessary indeed. Her story serves as a reminder to live to the fullest. May she rest in peace. I am very sorry for your loss, I’m sure she’s gonna be by your side on your wedding day 🙂

  2. Never feel inappropriate to recall your dear friend, however the memory or the words come. For their is an African saying that a person is never really dead as long as they are remembered. And your remembrance of Katie has made her live for me and many others – a fitting tribute for someone you love.

  3. Often I also find myself feeling the presence of my late grandmother, like when I’m thinking about her and crying late one night, and it starts raining cats and dogs outside and feel like she is crying with me too. I think Katie heard you in this post too.

  4. “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
    ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
    Your poignant words capture the essence of not only Katie but of the bond you share with her that holds fast and true! Still vibrant! And joyous! The same is true for me,and my best friend Julie who died nearly 20 years ago when we were young moms, not much older than you.are now. Your mom and I shared the hour of Virginia’s death and now Skyler is a member of our family because of the impact of Julie on my life. I send you tender thoughts and fierce hugs. .

    • Tami, I so appreciate hearing this and the reminder that this is something we all will experience in life. This quote is lovely and I will carry it with me. Much love to you…

  5. Katie and I shared the same birthday although many years apart. I remember one winter Sunday morning about 5 years ago when I ran into her and her grandfather having breakfast in Littleton. She was so happy to see me and so full of life. I do miss her smile very much.

    • Ahhhh… Thank you for sharing that memory. I would have loved to be a witness to that breakfast.She loved her G-Pa so much. Both souls are together again in heaven. 😉

  6. If we search our hearts, we find is what we grieve for all along is what have been a blessing in our lives. Thank you for sharing your memories of Katie, may God bless her and all that have known and love her 🙂

  7. Thank you for posting..I didn’t know Katie…but have had the chance to meet her Mom on business seminars….I too lost my brother as he chose to leave us…we now live the ” new normal” special people that touched our lives… always in our heart and reminding us… keep sharing…

  8. So sorry for the loss of your friend.

  9. My best friend died 17 years ago from AIDS. He died the day after my birthday, which always reminds me of the ebb and flow of life and death. I feel your pain and I understand. It does get easier…in a very strange way. And he is always with me, in every breath. Namaste.

    • I’m sorry for your loss. ;( “The ebb and flow of life.” I always love hearing this particular pattern of words together when discussing life and death. It’s so poetic and reminds me of the ocean, the coming and the going. I appreciate our comment and your support…

  10. It’s so bitter-sweet to step down that memory lane. I can resonate with your loss and appreciate your post. Shanti shanti shanti

    • Bitter-sweet indeed… It’s good to heat that this emotional post resonated with you and brought back some bitter-sweet memories of your own. I appreciate you sharing the experience with me and your comment. Namaste

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