i've never lost someone so unexpectedly. not that you're ever totally prepared for someone to die, but with corey, there was absolutely no preparation. when your grandparents die, there is normally some thought process or realization that they are getting older, they are getting sicker, and they won't be around forever. when it's someone young, it is pretty much always going to feel like it came out of nowhere. like he was stolen.
i feel guilty even writing about my feelings when i know his sister and parents are more devastated than i've ever thought of being, but i haven't stopped thinking about corey since september 21st and i can't get his brown eyes out of my head.
hearing of corey's death was like someone kicked me in the stomach and when i heard my mom say "corey queen," my eyesight went all weird and white like in a movie when they show you what someone feels like as they are passing out. that's what i felt like. i cried before i hit the ground and kyle hugged me as i wailed. and again, if i felt like that, what did his mother feel like when she heard? i'm not sure i even want to know.
not everyone understands the relationship corey and i had, and i'm not sure i even care to explain it. but it was special. when you meet someone at the age of 11 and stay friends for each year of life after that, it's bound to be special.
i went to west virginia this past weekend and kyle stayed in tennessee. when i got back on sunday evening, the house was clean and one of the first things kyle said to me was, "i found some pictures of corey."
one of them was one i'd been looking for but hadn't told him about. it's from our junior year of high school at the spirit week pep rally at the football field. he's standing on the front row of the bleachers and he's smiling. and for whatever reason, he's not wearing red or black like every single person around him, but orange.
when kyle said that he had found these photos, i felt simultaneously sad and blessed. sad that i was going to look at photos of corey, knowing he was no longer here on this earth with me, and blessed that i am with a person who somehow knew i'd been looking for these photos and knew i wanted to see them.
last week while i was home by myself one day, i listened to the voicemails i had on my phone from corey. the last one he left was telling me congratulations on my engagement and that he loved me. i love you, too.
kelsey's beautiful and heartbreaking blog about her brother has truly helped me, and i think it's helping her, too. if you haven't read it, read it immediately. it's honest and open and a wonderful way to share with the world the life that her brother lived while he was here, and if you've ever lost someone you love, you can relate to pretty much everything she says.
i love you, queen family.