About Me

Kathryn Bradley was born on 2/5/91 and given a Hawaiian name Kahiwalani meaning "Gift From Heaven" She has been a special gift from the day she was born.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting tough 2-28-12

Getting tough 2-28-12

Richard headed up to Bellingham and the house seemed so empty.  I couldn’t help but feel sad.  Then I looked around to see all the stuff and couldn’t help but thinking my daughter’s life is in all of these boxes.  Her whole life lies here in our living room in boxes of stuff.  She lies in ashes in a box in her room.  How could this be?  She was vibrant and full of life just a short while ago.  Now she is ashes and boxes of stuff.  It’s hard to realize that this is the truth.  So, as I broke down Scott suggested a drive.  He’s a good man.  We went for a drive and it did make me feel better. 

We had gone through all the luminarias.  They are so beautiful and made with so much love.  The time and effort put into each one is so wonderful and touches my heart.  I was amazed at how many there were.  I feel so blessed to have so many loving people around me.

I will be seeing someone on Monday (counselor) to help me deal with this.  It is getting tough and I think I really need something.  It is hard to function.  I do think if I give myself a schedule it will help. 

I also received a couple of emails that really helped me understand myself a little more.  I certainly have been in shock and denial.  The reality is starting to sink in.  But I was reminded that Kathryn would not want me to be sad.  She would be telling me its ok Mommy.  She has been trying to comfort me by letting me know she is here.  That sweet smell!  I need to get moving so I have a plan.

Scott and I will go skiing for a couple of days.  This will get us out of the house.  When we return we will clear all of the stuff out of the living room.  I’m talking about all of Kathryn’s stuff that was at the celebration.  By the end of the weekend we should have it organized into a memory trunk.  There will be a couple of things that I will leave out to look through more often.  This will help.  I can’t stand having my house all torn apart.  I will also make sure her room is well organized and the last of Christmas is finally put away.  This will make me feel more like me.  Organized and put together – not disorganized with a dirty house.  Then I plan to get on a real schedule.  I need to fit in exercise to feel better.  Starting next week my schedule shall begin.  I will make my to do lists to make sure I get things done and not sit around feeling sad.  I will have to start realizing my “New Normal.”  I can do this!

Actually I asked my students one time during a class, “How many of you believe that if set your mind to do something you can do it?”  Not one hand went up.  I was very disappointed.  When I have thought about doing something I have always believed in myself.  My kids have taken this on too.  Kathryn had so much confidence in herself she could share with others.  Richard has set out to do many things that people have been amazed by.  So I will just chose to be happy, to live and to go on better than before.  I can do this!

I do need to add that I think part of this sadness is really a feeling of guilt.  I think I feel guilty when I don’t feel sad or mad.  I almost wrote that all wrong by stating sad or mad about losing Kathryn.  I will always feel sad and mad about losing Kathryn but I don’t need to feel sad and mad in general.  There is a difference there and I just realized that this could have been a problem for me.  I shouldn’t feel guilty when I am happy and laughing.  I need those things.  Maybe I don’t need a counselor as I figure all of this out.  Don’t worry – I’m keeping my appointment. 

I will not have internet for a couple of days.  Look for a new blog on Thursday night or Friday morning.


  1. Carol, even though the celebration is over,which by the way was absolutely amazing,I continue to pray for you and your family.When I read your blog I am constantly reminded to count my blessings.Your family is such a tribute to us all for your faith, strength and most of all love for each other.That was clearly displayed Saturday.I have never seen or felt so much compassion from the people there.You should be proud of what a great mother you are.Stay strong and my prayers are always with you, Love your cousin, Donna

    1. Carol, Scott, Richard, we just wanted you to know we continue to read your blog and our thoughts are with you. Ther services could not have been more beautifully done. Enjoy your time together. Leslie and Amy

  2. Carol, keeping a blog really helped me to write my way through the days, and it still helps. I started my blog a month or so after Katie's passing, and it has brought comfort, release and unexpected fellowship. Somehow, a number of us bereaved moms met online through our blogs; four of us started a wonderful study of a comforting book by Joyce Rupp. We shared our children's life and death stories, worked through the spiritual exercises in the book, and prayed for one another. I preferred that to a group meeting in person. It really helps to know that I am not alone.

    Another thing that has helped is massage therapy. I often had fatigue and soreness, particularly around my heart, and this has been eased a great deal by a wonderful massage therapist.

    You are not alone. If you ever want me to share some of the blogs that have been helpful to me, I would be glad to do so.

    I will always remember your lovely Kathryn's smile. Did you know that our Katie's full name was also Kathryn, spelled the same way? I hope they have connected in heaven.
    God bless you and your beautiful family.
    Karen Gerstenberger