I wasn’t quite ready to enter the world of obituary writing.

It’s not very much fun.

(But I still rocked it IMO.)

And recently I’ve just kind of been stuck in a weird place.

I mean, Cheryl’s gone. But she’s not.

Aunt Cheryl and I were kindred spirits. I feel closer to her now than I did when I knew she was hanging out in her apartment in Salt Lake. My morning prayers have turned to “HI CHERYL! SO GLAD YOU’RE UP THERE! DO YOU LIKE IT? WHAT’S IT LIKE? OH! IS JESUS AROUND? I REALLY NEED TO THANK HIM FOR LETTING ME BE YOUR NIECE. WHAT’S IT LIKE RUNNING AND DANCING? CASSIE AND I DECIDED YOU WERE MORE OF A GAGA FAN THAN A MANILOW FAN...”

Anyway. It’s hard, because I’m so happy she’s happy now. I do have a set of beliefs that leaves me with an absolute feeling of peace and comfort with her passing. But I’m headed to a funeral where not everyone has the same beliefs I do. And that? Is tricky.

I have people around me apologizing for my loss, which makes me think maybe I should be more sad. So I get more sad. But then I get stressed out. And when I get stressed out? I get weepy.

Well. Bawly.

It’s ugly.

But I’m not really sad. I may have lost an aunt but I gained one hell of a guardian angel.

Guess that’s the whole kindred spirit thing. Crap I love her so much. She left me so many memories.

love love love.

Anyway, I don’t expect anyone to care much, I mean, she wasn’t your aunt.

But oh man she was great.

And she’s not gone.

She’s still throwing down heavenly gang signs. I love it.


Do you have a kindred spirit?


  1. i felt exactly the same way when my grandma died–i knew she was still around watching out for us, but it was hard to see other people and to know what the world at large thought about her passing.

    i have lots of kindred spirits–they’re all still alive, though. and that is a sexy gang sign right there. your aunt cheryl must have been amaze-balls.

  2. Beautiful!

  3. I, again, have to say, I love this belief. I’m glad you have an awesome guardian angel. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’ve been thinking about kindred spirits a lot lately, actually. I fell in love with one of my best friends when I was 9 and she was 29. We met doing community theatre and we just became friends instantly — she treated me like I was an adult, like I was her friend, like I was everything. I closed my eyes and I knew I loved her. I knew I was 9 years old and absolutely in love.

    When she had both her children, I knew instantly. There’s some kind of spiritual connection between us and both times I just knew she was in labor. The second time was the best — I was walking to a restaurant on my lunch break and she popped into my head all of a sudden, even though I’d not seen her or heard her voice in months (we live a good distance from each other now). I knew she was in labor right at that moment, and she called me the next day to tell me she’d gone into labor yesterday and just now gave birth to a beautiful little boy.

    We’ve been friends for 12 years and tomorrow I’m getting her first initial tattooed on my shoulder, along with my other best friend’s, inside the infinity symbol. It’ll say DC and it’ll stand for Washington DC too (a place which has completely changed my life), but oh, it’s so much for them. The D is for Dorina, the C is for Chris, the DC is for DC, and the infinity is for how long I’ll love all those things.

  5. What a beautiful post. Seriously, it’s my goal in life to have someone feel that way about me when I am gone. I’m sorry she’s not with you here, but as you say, it sounds like you’ve got an amazing guardian angel now!

  6. Beautifully said – You are lucky to have someone so special looking after you from above.

  7. This is wonderful, Casey. I”m so happy you’ve got peace and that you feel her presence so strongly.

    My middle school drama teacher was a kindred spirit. She taught me so much and was then taken in a car accident right after I started high school. Throughout my career, I’ve felt her presence heavily. I hope I”m making her proud.

    I got so excited when I thought about your Aunt Cheryl dancing. It really is something to rejoice, isn’t it?

  8. I felt the same way with my grandmother. We were very, very close. I miss her and I get sad for me sometimes, but I know that she is out there somewhere looking over me. And she’s happy and healthy and that? Makes me smile.

  9. Feeling sad is a first response for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean you have to be sad. Not be chessy, but celebrate her life not her death.

    I’m glad to see that my prayers are the only ones like that. My college roommate died a year after I graduated and 9 years later I still talk to Abby like I was on a normal phone conversation with my “what do you all where there?” thrown in. It is ok, we all remember people our own way.

    While I’m sorry for your loss I’m glad you got to have an aunt you were so close with.

  10. I talk to my FIL via prayer ALL the time. I didn’t get to know him as well as I wish I did–he died of cancer 2 months after my wedding to his son. But somehow, I feel at peace knowing he is there watching us and loving us and taking care of us. I feel safe because he is gone. Does that make sense? I do miss him though. Lots.

  11. I like what you said about losing someone but gaining a guardian angel. It’s comforting. I am sorry for your loss, but I hope that thought continues to comfort you.


  12. My husband and I were actually discussing death recently, because his grandma was in pretty bad health, and we knew she wasn’t going to be with us much longer. We both hold the same belief as you, that she is now in a body with no pain and plenty of strength. But we both struggled with the tradition of funerals, receiving lines, visitation times, body viewings, etc. We discussed it a lot, and I even did some research. Turns out my husband and I are both just old souls, and we hold a lot of thought that is similar to the way things used to be done long ago, before many of the funeral traditions of today that are done for the sake of the living, not of those who are gone. Neither of us wanted to stand in line and be told “Sorry for your loss” hundreds of times by people we didn’t know – because it wasn’t how we felt. Of course we’re sad she’s gone and he especially misses her, but like you, we believe she’s happy, and that makes us glad that she’s not suffering anymore. But many people have a different viewpoint and (I assume) believe you should be present at all those traditions and publicly grieve. Believe me, he grieves plenty, but on his own.

    Sorry that was so long. It’s just relieving to see that someone else has the same feelings and doesn’t necessarily believe that all the feelings we have in this situation must be sadness, despite what the “norm” is.

  13. I like to hope I have at least two. : )

  14. michelle says:

    Casey, I totally understand your conflicted feelings. When my sister passed away after suffering with cancer for almost a year I was happy for her freedom and sad because I knew I’d have to wait so long to see her again. I miss her every day, even after 6 years.

  15. My Aunt Heidi. I’ll tell you about her soon.

  16. That’s really beautiful Casey. I’m glad you have a way to find peace.

  17. I, too, have the belief that we go on to a better place, but my earthly self does get sad at the fact that I won’t see this person again for an undetermined amount of time. I remember when my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago. She had been very sick for a very long time, the girls hardly remember the grandmother that she used to be, when I get sad I mourn not for her, as she is in a better place, but for my girls. They will never really know her well on this side of Heaven. They will miss out on all those things that you do with Grandmother’s.

    So I don’t think that you should be sad, but if someone tells you that they are sorry for your loss, you can tell them how thankful you were for her life.


    Sarah Reply:

    @Domestic Extraordinaire,
    I think that’s a beautiful suggestion for a way to respond. And a great way to look at it.

  18. Aw, babe this is so lovely and incredibly sweet. Rest well, Cheryl

  19. yep. you!


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