Intersecting Life and Faith

Remembering Kellie

Every night since October 19 I have drifted off to sleep thinking about my friend Kellie. Trying to process her life and her passing has left me with unexpected emotions and questions. As I said in a Facebook post, I knew the call would come someday from her mom that she had passed away… and yet I wasn’t ready.

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Kellie came into our lives when we were a young family walking into the Church my husband was pastoring. She wasn’t that much younger than me, but her path in life had been much different than mine. We embraced her wholeheartedly, she became “nanny” to our kids. Babysitting when we needed a night out, making extravagant cakes for birthday parties, spending holidays with us, hanging out day in and day, she became a part of us for six years. Kellie and I even took a surprise road trip to Iowa to visit family, she loved the farm.

When we moved to another church out of state, her face in the rearview mirror was one of the last I saw.

She did come to visit shortly after we moved, but her health began to decline and she was no longer able to navigate airports and fly. Recently, she wanted to come to visit, using her stimulus money. Sadly, she was unable to make that trip. She lived alone, with not many friends, and family dynamics that were sad. Because lonliness was a constant companion, she would call once a week to just chat. I have many voicemails of her last week of life, why didn’t I answer those calls? That seemed to be our ‘thing’, She would call, leave a message and I would call her back when I had some uninterrupted time. She wanted to hear about our lives, how our adult kids and grandkids were doing. It wasn’t anything profound that we talked about, but I am finding those phone calls over the course of many years have made their mark on my heart.

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It has taken a couple of days to write this. Before I hit publish I checked to see if an obituary had been written. Ten days later the funeral home posted the day she was born and the day she died. I’m trying to decide if this is better than no obit. And that is what is keeping me awake at night. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that even in death she was alone.

There is so much more to Kellie’s story and if you ask me I will share my story and the impact she had on my life. I’m not sure I ever conveyed that to her.

My purpose in writing is to share that navigating the passing of a loved one is never easy, it looks different for each and every one of us, and sometimes there will be no answers to questions that surface. Her passing has taught me, a lesson I thought I knew, there are so many ‘Kellie’s’ in this world who need us. A lesson to continue to look beyond me, sometimes way beyond myself and listen and love the lonely.

3 Comments

  1. Sue Price

    Thank you for sharing what is on your heart. Your last sentence is truly a helpful reminder to me to “continue to look beyond myself.” Blessings to you.

  2. Mary Deitz

    Carol, Nina, Bree, (the most recent)…I couldn’t be with them their last week b/c of not being able to drive, but they were made from gold. Had to mention them. Two of them died alone. It’s late. Sleep well Jody. They also are with Jesus.

  3. Barb Demis

    I saw her at the store a few months back. She didn’t remember me and seemed to be in poor health. I am sad for her difficult life. I remember praying with her and shedding tears for back in the day.
    I have watched for an obituary, but never saw hers. She needed friends like you. I am thankful that you were able to have conversations with her on a fairly regular basis. I am sure that made her day/week.

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