Kaitlyn and I share so many amazing times together.As a little girl, she was inquisitive, caring, and loving.She always knew if Mom and Dad said “NO” Aunt Dore would say “YES”.I loved that she had an infectious smile.
If you were sad Kaitlyn made you happy.I have so many wonderful memories of the times we shared. The Doorhys had a boat that they docked in Oakdale, and Kaitlyn use to call me and ask if she could come over, of course, I said yes and she would end up at my house to hang out and we had a blast laughing eating shooting the breeze.Kaitlyn and I shared a passion for the NY Mets.Every Christmas she would give me a Mets ornament.We attended games together and ate hotdogs and cotton candy, it was always a blast.I told her someday we will sit in one of those boxes, and our wish came true.For my 50th birthday, we celebrated with family and friends in Suite 122 at Citi Field.She said to me ” Aunt Dore we made it”.I will never forget that twinkle in her eye and the fun we had.There are so many great times, the Christmas’, the Easters, the Birthdays.When Kaitlyn set out to do something nothing got in her way.I love and adore Kaitlyn. She shines down on me from above and I know every time I need her she is there.
They say that children can start making explicit memories at around age two. However, most of these memories remain implicit until the age of seven. While some children report having memories as young as age two, most children do not. At 26, there is obviously more times of my life that I remember, and have explicit memories from, than there is time that I don’t. A lot of my very first memories, involve Kait and her family. KK and I grew up together all over the east coast. New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida… the list goes on and on. Our travels were for us and our relationship flourished there. While we did attend school together, from the 5th grade on, she had her schedule and I had mine. I don’t think I would’ve changed a thing because when I look back, I think we had such a strong connection because we didn’t let anything get in our way. No drama from school, or silly outside things, just family. Our families became one and nothing is more special than family. Kaitlyn taught me so many of the things that I know, in life and after death. She was always more advanced than I was, and I would’ve been lost without that as a kid and as a teen. So, to tell me that I have to talk about one memory is hard because there are millions of small moments. I could realistically write a novel about the profound impact that Kait Doorhy had on my life. My first text message was sent to her, she taught me how to use social media, my first inappropriate word, falling asleep in front of the fire at Christmas Eve dinner after she had worked at MK all day. Collecting money filled Easter eggs in our mansion air b&b in Florida. Teaching me to snowboard with MY snowboard…which then made me realize I was a born skier. Making sure that my horrible high school nickname, Karen, stuck all the way through to my adult life. Marching next to you in my NJROTC uniform, while you waved politely as strawberry queen. A lifetime of memories that definitely ended too soon. We should’ve had college degrees, weddings, and children of our own. She will still be here for all of those things, just not in the way we would have liked or expected. I will never be able to understand fully why this happened. It is not fair, every day is easier than the one before, but it will never be okay. Losing you was the hardest thing I have ever been through. Not just for me, for everyone who knew you, but mostly for your family. Watching them in pain caused the most upset. All I know is that our story is a true testament to “friends are the family you choose.”
I could not think of anyone more deserving of the title of sister than Kaitlyn and her sister Carly. I am an only child but because of them it never really did feel that way. That brings me the most comfort in times that are harder than others. We miss you Kait but thank you for all the memories you left with us. Including, but not limited to, teaching me how to make a spoon stick to my nose.
Feeling emotions whole-heartedly is necessary to move forward.
To any first-time readers or new members of the organization, welcome. It is humbling and heartwarming for the core members of Kait’s Angels to have your attention on our monthly newsletter.
As many of you may know, Kaitlyn Doorhy is my older sister. She tragically passed away when I was just sixteen years old. The following years of her passing, my junior and senior year of high school, were my foggy years. What I mean by that is, I sit here now at twenty-two years old, thinking back to what some girls described as the best years of their lives, and can’t come to remember the details of my friends, my classmates, volleyball games, teachers I built relationships with… barely anything. I was numb in my head and in my thoughts. I wasn’t living like most were from sixteen to twenty years old. In fact, I don’t remember caring a single bit about what happened around me. I was just going through motions, trying to graduate and get into college so I could start fresh and escape the fog.
The problem with that mindset is that it was extremely irrational. Was I ever going to be able to wipe the slate clean and start completely over? No, that’s not realistic, not for anyone or any situation. Shutting out the things that bring us down is a trap. It set me up for making disappointing decisions that did not reflect a slither of the person I am today or the person my parents raised me to become. These very emotions and events that we block out WILL creep back…but a lot more aggressive than the first time. So, what is my advice? Face the struggle face-to-face, not back-to-back. Face the struggle face-to-face, not back-to-back.
How do we do this? “It’s so much easier to act like it’s not bothering me and keep on going. Maybe if I distract myself with other things, I will forget about it all.” The struggle lies in the fog itself. You must not turn your back on it. What would happen if we turned our back in a boxing ring? The other opponent would take advantage of you and pin you down, maybe even knock you out. If you turn your back on the fog, it’s going to circumnavigate itself around you no matter what you do to try to avoid it. I turned my back on the fog and I eventually had to deal with my emotions, consequently wasting the time I had to grow mentally and win the match.
There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about my sister; what could have been, where we would be today, and how different my life would be now. The difference is in the way I think about her. I used to hear her name and automatically feel a sense of sorrow, some guilt, sadness and heartbreak. You may think of your struggles with the same emotions, whether it be the death of someone close to you, a break up with someone you loved or are still in love with, or maybe you have been disappointed by someone you love. The average person will tend to think of these situations in a negative light for days, months, years, or maybe even an entire lifetime. Whether we spend ten days, ten months, or ten years hashing out these feelings in our head, the event will always remain.
Are we wrong for feeling what we feel? Absolutely not. These are the emotions we are programmed to feel. Our bodies and brains are wired to feel any which way we need to feel for extensive periods of time. We will even place the blame on ourselves to make it easier to comprehend and digest. “What if this happened instead” or “maybe if I said this differently.” Thinking about ways in which it could have been different rather than reflecting on what is, is a sign you are still in the fog. We break through the fog by moving forward; excited for the future, thankful for the present, and endlessly aware of our past.
The question I ask is, do you feel at peace from what you have gone through or do you feel trapped in the fog?
To dwell is to remain. To accept and reflect is to move forward. You must be able to accept what is, be thankful for what you had, remember the laughs you shared, and the person they have helped you to become.