Deeply Connected

July 6, 2009 19:22 – 19:22

Today was the saddest day of my life, even sadder than last Friday when we first learned of our loss. We were fortified and supported, however by Reverend Mo White, the Concannons, and by the help of Dan Concannon, who agreed to box up Katie’s possessions and send them to us. I don’t know how we could have survived today without their love and support.

A little after 9 this morning, Mo White came to our hotel room. She is so loving, supporting, and comforting, and has walked the same journey in her own life. She instantly became one of our dearest friends. We will be forever grateful for the support she provided, accompanying us every step of the way along today’s awful journey.

At 10, we went with Mo to Vessey Funeral Home, and met with Steve Vessey. He is a warm and compassionate gentle human who did his best to make the process of arranging for Katie’s death certificates and cremation as bearable as possible.

At noon, we went to Scott’s Towing—where Katie’s car was being kept—and we met there with Bob Nuse and Linda Hunter, both of the Colorado State Patrol. Bob is an accident reconstruction expert, and he is working to determine exactly what happened. Linda is the Victim Advocate. Both are wonderful people who care deeply about their work. They both did their best to help us. Heather, Amy, John, and Sharon Concannon were also there. John’s brother, Dan, and his sons were there, too. All worked together to remove everything salvageable from the Honda Accord. Dan offered to box up Katie’s stuff and ship it to us. That was on our list of horrible chores to perform, and we are deeply grateful. We have Katie’s computer and camera, but cannot bear to deal with those yet. We expect that the last pictures she took are on them.

After exchanging goodbye hugs with the Concannons, Karen, Mo, and I went to Subway for lunch. There, we had a long conversation about Katie’s accomplishments, her incredibly huge network of close friends, how deeply she was cared for, and how much she will be missed. We also talked about Katie’s upbringing and our best guesses about how she came to be the wonderful, caring, loving, and funny young woman in whom we all delighted.

After lunch, we went back to Vessey to be close to Katie. We chose not to view her. We prefer to remember her as she lived—smiling, laughing, loving, joking, and hugging. Here’s a picture I took of her when we were on a hayride at Cider Hill, just outside Boston in October of 2007.

We spent a long time near Katie’s physical essence this afternoon, sending her love and hugs across the ether to wherever her spirit now resides. I have never believed in an afterlife. But, I find it impossible to believe that a spirit and light as wonderfully bright as Katie’s can ever be extinguished. We wished Katie well on her next journey, and then left. The cremation will be tonight, and tomorrow, we will take her back to Virginia.

After leaving Katie, we exchanged long hugs with Mo White outside Vessey’s door, and sang Spirit of Life. It’s hard to stay on key when you’re crying, so I’m sure that Katie would have understood. We’re back at the hotel now, thinking about seeing if we can find some fresh seafood for dinner. Fort Collins is a long way from the ocean, so wish us luck.

We are deeply grateful for the continuing support of our family and friends. We love you all, and we hope you don’t mind if we hug the dickens out of you the next time we see you.

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