My Number 1 Fan

I do NOT handle death well.

Me dying. Someone else dying. A dog dying. A character in a movie dying. Even the thought of a stinking cow dying makes me pretty sad.

It’s the number 1 fear right? Or is that public speaking?  Well, I’ll take public speaking any day of the week but I WON’T take death.  I don’t want to talk about it.

But here I am writing this freaking post. Because, why not?

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[Teenager] Katie & Joan

My number 1 fan passed away earlier this month. My Aunt, Joan. Very unexpectedly.  I had to fly home quickly to make sure I was at her funeral – which was one of the saddest experiences so far in my life.

There’s something about being at a funeral of a person that unexpectedly passes away that’s even more difficult than others. I think no one believes she’s really gone UNTIL they get to the funeral.  Then it’s one big wave of “OMG. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING”.  The whole room is like a raw, present, emotional, tragedy. Sickness.

Heavy stuff.

But I know she wouldn’t want that. She was h a p p y and wanted everyone around her to be happy too.  All the time. So I’m going forward with that tone.

Joan was my first technical “follower”. How she managed to sign up to a word press account and “follow” me is something I’m still overly impressed with <— Dedication.

She was also the first person to read all my posts. No more than 5 minutes after they were published.  How do I know? Because more than a couple times my post would include hints of homesickness and shortly after hitting publish –> BING! Inbox “saying hi and checking in”.

Perfect timing and always necessary.

I’m 99% sure she would see my new posts and immediately call my mom to make sure she saw too.  Excitedly reminding her to quickly get on the internet and check it out!

The quality that makes me the most P R O U D to be family. Was going to her funeral and seeing ALL walks of life in attendance. She accepted everyone. And they respected her. What an incredible life to affect different types of people in such a positive way.   I know it was her smile, her listening skills ( 😉 ), her support, her L O U D voice, and her happiness that latched on to everyone.

I’m proud.

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Joan + her sisters

Death is a scary thing for me. I’m definitely no expert at handling it well or in any sort of responsible fashion. I have no idea what to say or do. Or how to think and act. But something inside me was telling me to write a little memory of her here in my blog to remind myself of this time. And of her. For as long as I’m able to look back <3

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PS. I remember when I was little she went through a permed hair, leopard hand bag, bright red lipstick phase. #Idol

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