Celebrating life stories...

Memories

 

Memorial created 04-16-2007 by
Kim Nesbitt Maureen Geisinger
McKayla W. Geisinger
December 20 1993 - March 19 2007

 

Foreword

When Tomorrow Never Comes

 

Why is this book different from all the books written about grief and loss?  The answer is simply because no other singular book has been written about McKayla Whitney Geisinger.

 McKayla collapsed and died on March 19, 2007 on a field trip with her Amherst, New Hampshire Middle School classmates in Pinkham Notch in the White Mountains.  McKayla was only 13 years old and died tragically and unexpectantly.

McKayla was my niece, the youngest of two of my sister Maureen (Moe) and brother-in-law Greg’s daughters.  McKayla (K.K or Cakes) was a beautiful, intelligent, extraordinary, caring, and exceptional young lady.  I am thankful that I lived in the next town, and that my husband Joe and I were given a gift of being able to spend innumerable times with my sister Moe and her family.  I was able to see KK grow since she fit in the palm of my hand.  I remember the first time that I laid eyes on her; I fell in love and have not ceased to feel those same emotions since her birth. 

No one can make sense of such a tragedy as the one we experienced with the death of KK.  I remember when my sister Moe called me to tell me that “KK was gone.” My legs failed to hold me, my heart beat so fast that I thought that it would come out of my chest.  I fell to the floor, and my husband Joe had to pick me up.  I was in shock and didn’t want to believe the words that I heard on the other end of the telephone.  The realization that I would never see my beautiful, funny, sensitive, and loving niece in this life was incomprehensible.  I expected her back with all her classmates, and expected that I would spend so many more ecstatic moments with her and her sister Amanda again. 

I have a Master’s in Counseling, but nothing prepared me for “dealing” with the loss of McKayla.  Until it happens to someone who is the complete quintessential essence of your world, nothing will prepare you for such a void, a chasm, a loss so immense that it leaves you with no intelligent explanation or words that help you make sense of such an unfathomable experience.

As I recall those horrific moments, knowing how my husband Joe and I felt, I can’t imagine how my sister Moe, my brother-in-law Greg, and niece Amanda must have felt, and how they continue to manage the grief, the loss, the inexplicable pain of never being able to, at least in this life, see McKayla again.  To me I don’t think there are any words to describe this loss.

We are well into our second year since McKayla has been gone.  I am sure that it still feels so new, and so raw, that it seems as if it just happened yesterday most especially for Moe, Greg and Amanda.  Most people say, “Oh in time, things will be different.” Until a parent or a family goes through such a tragic loss as losing a child or sibling, no one has the authority to make such statements. 

Grief has many stages.  It is fluid, it isn’t logical; there is no set time frame.   One moment you may be in denial and another moment you may be in the bargaining stage.  Moreover, each individual brings with the process a unique way to manage their grief.  Some may think their way is the right way.    But, in actuality, everyone has their own set of assumptions, interpretations, and perspectives, but give everyone the right to grieve the way they must.

                 How do you find the grace and fortitude to take those courageous steps to live another day, knowing that it may be just as difficult, or even more painful than the day before?  From my vantage point as an aunt and sister; I would say that one can only “take one day, or one minute, or sometimes one second at a time!   I know, without a doubt, the biggest boost to my sister and her family was the kindness and love of family, friends, soccer mates, neighbors, and communities.  I am humbled and moved by the outpouring of the incredible thoughtful acts of kindness, memorials, tributes, and scholarships that have been evidenced through the herculean efforts of so many loving individuals who have spent so much of their energy to honor McKayla.  In the poignant words of the great author C.S. Lewis, in his attempt to describe the ubiquitous feelings of grief at the loss of his wife Joy, “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”  McKayla’s absence is just like what C.S Lewis so deftly evoked.   McKayla will be forever missed and never forgotten. 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Hi Moe- I had wondered where you had been these past months and now I know. Somehow I expected that you would do a written tribute to McKayla and, in turn, provide a moment of peace for all who have been left in this wake of bewildering sorrow. Coe’s forward is beautiful. My heart breaks all over again when I read it and think of the changed life we all must live forever because McKayla is not here. I look forward to hearing your words and am humbled by your courage.  As always, I am wishing you a moment of peace today.  Take care my dear friend!

 

Moe, Coe’s word’s say it all. How courageous you all have been to take each day as it comes, missing KK so much – every minute. Your pain is felt so deep. I don’t know why sometimes people wonder if a parent has “moved on” or is “getting better”. The pain of losing part of you never goes away, it just has different levels of pain, sometimes a dull roar, sometimes a subtle jab, but it is always there. I’m glad you are writing. I know writing has helped my friend who lost her husband a great deal also, it doesn’t make it “better”, but it helps to write. Reliving the days when you first lived through the surreal events of KK’s loss must be so unbearable as you write. I will continue to pray for God’s strength for you, as you need it renewed each day. (My friend and walking partner)!

 

Hi Moe:  I think this is just AWESOME and I pray that it will bring you great comfort. I’m so glad to hear you are finding it to be therapeutic. I just read the foreword by Coe. What a nice job. I’m just so excited that you are doing this and can’t wait to read your masterpiece when it is finished. (From KK’s BFFL Mom)!

 

Hi Maureen, Thank you for sharing a big chapter in KK life. (okay if I say KK)   I feel like I know her even though I never met her in person. I felt your pain along with the whole family and I am sure people whose lives she touched grieved for such a special beautiful girl full of life and so young...  What touched me deeply was KK's profound love for life and laughter and all the people that shared in her life and continue to do so.  She is very much alive in the hearts of many. Like I mentioned to you before I have her on my little alter with St. Joseph, Blessed Mother and a few more saints. I look at her now and then and lift you all up in prayer.  The fact that God took her away from her loving family sounds like she is your anchor to heaven she will pull you all right in. and joy will come in the morning.  Yes your sorrow will be turned into joy.  I love the book already and you have just begun.  I am sure it will help others who have lost a loved one and so young.

 

Moe, I am sitting here overwhelmed with the feelings I have. I just  read your e-mail and went to McKayla's website. All the feelings of that horrific day, that I have tried so hard to push deep inside have come to the surface. I love her! She was such a part of our everyday lives from that first year I watched her and for the years after. I can't believe how much I still miss her. I hope you never think that there is a day that goes by that we all don't feel the loss of her sweet face and beautiful smile. She left a little part of her with each one of us and for that I am so thankful. It is so difficult to think or try to understand why. It doesn't get easier.

 

Moe that is so awesome. I'm so sorry you had to go through to unbearable pain, but good will come out of it. I had the privileged of meeting Maggie and John Bish a couple of years ago when she was being honored along with a dear friend of mine as the Unsung Heroines at the Mass State House. She and John are truly amazing. Through their terrible grief they have chosen to reach out and help others. It certainly doesn't take away their pain or feelings of grief, loss, desperation, but they have received comfort, joy, compassion by reaching out to others. You too are an amazing person. Just the fact that you can get up each day makes you my hero. God Bless you for wanting to reach out and help others by sharing your "experience". I know it will certainly help many in so many ways. Hugs my friend. You're incredible.  (My friend from Notre DameAcademy)

 

 

I am so glad you are writing this. I look forward to reading and trying to see, even if it is just a glimpse, into your soul. What you said is so true. Know one can know what you are going through unless they have experienced it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with all of us.

 

Moe, this project sounds really good. McKayla's legacy will shine brightly through this book! Im off to visit her now! Blessings

 

Moe, We are literally running out the door on vacation, and just had to send a quick e-mail.  I got goose bumps when I read your e-mail. I can't tell you how amazing I think it is that you are doing this.  I wish you the very, very best, and cannot wait to read it.  I KNOW you will succeed in what I humbly believe IS the reason you were given this cross to bear.  I believe that, because from the day you lost your beautiful KK, you HAVE been an inspiration to more people than you will ever know. From day one of your life without her physical presence,  you, Greg, and Amanda have shown a grace that I never knew was possible. In many ways, watching you has changed who I am.  I know the 4th is yet another day so difficult.... You're all in my prayers.

 

 

Moe- Beautifully written.  I am going to forward this to my neighbor who just lost her husband.

He was 49 and had a heart attack at LoganAirport and died.  What a shock. He was fit and always had a smile on his face! I kept thinking of McKayla.  I also wanted to share that I got a teaching job at MontVernonVillageSchool...teaching 2nd grade.  I am very excited and I have to say before one of my interviews I stopped by the cemetery and said hi to McKayla.   Looking forward to reading your book and good for you that you will be helping so many other people that have gone through such a time...

 

Moe- I continue to be impressed by your perseverance and stamina. I will keep all of you and this project in my prayers because I know you must be a beacon for anyone else who goes through this. I am also lucky enough to have sisters and they really are forever in our lives, even though mine live far away' we check in all the time. 

 

 

Maureen - I think this is a wonderful idea! I believe it will open your mind to insights that the Lord has for you - to reflect on, to learn from, and to use for your own spiritual growth. Maureen invite the Holy Spirit to inspire these thoughts so that they will bring to you only what is true, what is healing and life-giving.  Then what you absorb and pass on to others will help nurture them too. Go for it girl. Know that from time to time you will feel like giving up -don't worry, just stop a while, speak to the Holy Spirit, rest in His love for as long as He wants, then get up and go for it girl ! 

 

I humbly entrust you and this project to our Blessed Mother, spouse of the Holy Spirit.  With much love!

 

Wow, Moe, I had no idea you were working on this project. How wonderful! I just can't believe what a brave thing that is for you to do, but I have to say, I knew that you would one day be ministering to others, as I have tried to do with you. There were times that you did not think you could go through another day. I remember feeling that way myself. It was about five years after I  lost Patrick, before I felt okay again. Not okay as in just as good as before. I am changed forever. It still is such a horrible thing to have to endure. But I function again. And now I can say to you, that you are on the way to being back to as normal as you will ever be again. You are so strong and I am so happy for you that you are able to do this. I am certain that God will use you mightily in the lives of many. He knows who. Someday when we meet in Heaven and are with our children again, we will have so much more understanding of what we have been through and what we have meant to each other. I am always mindful of you and praying for you, even though I don't write as often as I used to.  Can't wait to read the forward.

 

Wow Moe - You make me feel so proud of you!!!!!  I just know when your book is finished; it will help so many people in the world (people like us!)......I know what you mean about "no books out there", for I also discovered that when my sweet son Glenn died.  Your book won't only be good therapy for you - but will help so many people - moms, dads, sisters and brothers - everyone who is living through the death of a child.  I wish you all the best in this personal endeavor......God bless you!  Hugs!!

 

I just read the forward from your sister.  How beautiful!  I know what you mean - I have read a zillion books and still haven't found that "one" yet that says "that's exactly how I'm feeling".  I'll find phrases in books, but nothing yet that truly says how I feel.  I've had a few people tell me that I should write a book about Joey and how horrible it was/is losing him.  I have 3 journals that I have written so far.  I call them my "joey journals".  I literally write to him and tell him what's been going on and how much I miss him and long for the day to be with him again.  I know you completely understand.  Best of luck with the book - it's a great idea.

 

Moe - What a wonderful idea~ I think this is a great way to honor your experience of loss, grief, and trying to continue to make the most of your life.  I eagerly await its last draft and will pray you through this experience...

 

Moe-What a wonderful and uplifting idea to write such a book!  And, your sister wrote such a beautiful forward.  I can't wait to read it.  Think about you & your family all the time!

 

Moe- Coe's forward is beautifully written and an emotional tribute to McKayla and family in general. I'd like to think that sharing your experiences, as difficult as it is, will help others in the unenviable position you are in. I haven't lost a child, but will surely read your book when it becomes available. This could happen to anyone and should be a must-read for anyone with a heart and compassion for the human condition. Therapeutic or not, you will surely help others and that may be part of God's plan. Thank you for continuing to share... Always …

 

Hi Moe- I wish you healing with your book; I, too, find writing to be therapeutic.  McKayla's picture is still on our refrigerator.  Saturday, I have a friend coming to visit and she recently lost her 23 year-old son.  We went to the funeral in May and we have been staying in touch, but this will be our first personal visit since the funeral.  I pray for both of your families daily. 

 

Oh Gosh first thing back to work and I’m sitting here crying like a baby!  How beautiful!  There are no other words but how beautiful.  I can’t wait to read your book! Love ya

 

Moe-I think you are amazing and I can’t wait to read your book.  I hope this does help you with your grief and I am positive you will be helping others as well.   Any idea yet when the book may be done?

 

Hi Moe – You never cease to amaze me – I think this is wonderful!  I’m so impressed with you! 

 

Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it's one day further from the last time you saw each other, it's one day closer to the next time you will. ~Author Unknown  I saw this quote and thought of you Moe...

 

Moe - Congratulations on this wonderful news! I am so happy for you. I  wish you all the best with this! I know your book will be heartfelt and inspirational. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you with this. I hope writing the book helps with your healing process and brings you some much deserved solace.  How are each of you doing? I hope your pain is easing some. I hope McKayla has visited you in your dreams!

 

I love this idea, I would think this will be very therapeutic. I went out to her webpage and read the forward- very nicely written.   I still think of you often and wonder how you are doing. Please let me know if you need something, I just can not image what a journey this has been for you and your family… I am so sorry for your grief!

 

Loved hearing from you and so excited to hear about Moe’ book “When Tomorrow Never Comes”.  I will treasure a copy when it comes out in print!  You and your sister are remarkable women.  I feel so blessed to have met you, honored that you shared the  personal and powerful story of your niece with me and grateful that you remember me with these heartfelt updates.  Please let me know when the book is finished.  I will be purchasing multiple copies for my hospice co-workers.

 

Hi Moe-We just got back from vacation and I just finished reading your email.  Good luck in your book writing.  I know it will be inspirational to all that read it.  I got goose bumps as I read your email and I will pray for you as you begin this endeavor of writing your book. 

 

You really are an amazing individual. This will be such an inspirational and giving book from your core. It does feel good to write, it is such a relief to put things down on paper. It will be such a gift to help everyone heal and for those who have not lost a child , know how to have the right words to say and understand how to work with the family to express the empathy that they deserve.  Thanks for sharing!

 

Wow, Moe, that’s terrific!  God will guide you through this process, for sure.  I think it’s wonderful that, once again, you are taking a negative experience and turning it into something positive!  Only good can come from this.  I am anxious to hear more about it.

 

Maureen - I look forward to reading your book and know that it will be special because it is about your family, McKayla and your loss.  I have always felt that your family has dealt with McKayla's death with such grace and I can only believe that it is because God is with all of you.  I know that the book will bring comfort to all of us who look for answers about why such things happen to us here on earth.

 

Hi K.k. I heard your mom is writing a book. I think it’s a great idea. You will help many people by this book. When I think of you I remember you smiling. So, I know you are smiling in heaven. Intercede for your mom and dad and aunts and please watch over us at PismoBeach in a couple of weeks. Talk to you later

 

Dear Maureen- I am hearing of this for the 1st time Last yr our family lost 2 young friends in a drowning.  Our comfort lies in the knowledge that they are totally at peace, and that we can ask for their prayers.  I also just noticed that Dec 20 is my daughter Jenna's birthday, and that March 19 is my daughter Christa's b'day.  So, on their birthdays I will always remember.  I look at your daughter's photos and I can't help but see my daughters. Of course I will remember you and your family in my prayers, and my heartfelt love to you.

 

Moe - We pray that you Greg, Amanda and your family know the love of our Lord through the works and deeds of those around you. May it bring you strength and hope for the days ahead. Love & Hugs

 

Thanks very much for the news about the book you are writing. What a wonderful and thoughtful thing to do. We are sure that there will be many people that will be blessed by it. Colleen's forward to the book is extremely well written and shows the love she has for you, KK and the family. We are anxiously awaiting the book to be published. Please keep us updated on the progress.

 

 

 

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