All posts by Kaitlyn O'Sullivan

Float On

Your 24th was one for the books.  Whenever I am spacing out or just about to slip into sleep, I imagine those graceful, floating lanterns swirling down the Arkansas with the huge, blood red moon reflecting on the water.  I just want to run that scene on repeat in my head somedays. Its kinda similar to not wanting a thunderstorm to stop pattering the roof and booming the sky.

Besides seeing you in my dreams I have struggled to really feel your presence back here with me.  I remember writing you a birthday love note on the outside of my lantern and decorating the wooden base with mandalas and roses.  I feel like I could have done that for hours just hanging out in the grass drawing like a little kid but thank god everyone else kept me on schedule.

I loved the parade down to the river edge with everyone clutching their little personalized lantern for you.  The night was growing dark as the candles flamed and then slowly we started placing them into the current one by one.  And off they went bobbing along together slowly moving along the river. I am not really sure if people were actually silent but I was in my own little bubble with you.

Once I placed your light on the water I just thought it would follow the others and float on.  But it just stayed there right next to me on the shore.  It was like I couldn’t let you go and drift away and maybe (or so I like to think) you were holding on too. I literally had to push that lantern away to go and catch up with the others.  Which were now all heading to a low hanging tree! Oh shit.

I just couldn’t let them have that short of a journey so I just automatically started wading in the water on a mission. And boom Ori was right there with me–no questions asked–in that nasty ass water to save the day! Definitely went for gold and had to actually swim to get to the tree and start saving lanterns. It was hilarious! The current was way stronger than we thought but the sketchiness was way worth it to see your lights continue on the river. We knew you would be the first to hop in that murky water too so it was pretty suiting!

Thank you for that night. I will always remember it.

Love always,




Damn. I am jealous of other people’s connections that they have been feeling with you lately.  I woke up today feeling almost guilty for the numbness I have been  swimming in the last couple of weeks. I can physically feel and mentally see you fading.  Fading out of my head, dreams, conversations and my present moments. I keep thinking maybe this is just time scabbing over the freshness of loosing you. But then I think maybe I am just ignoring you because its easier not to hold on so tight all the time.

Maybe its because we haven’t talked in four months. Haven’t spoken a damn word.  It’s like you are getting heavier to pull into my world. I should pull harder, right? Keep you in my pocket, right? Like I said a couple of months ago.  Most of the time its not enlightening or refreshing to hold you that close.  Its so overwhelmingly painful because I want something thats straight up impossible.  I want to pull you all the way back from that night so bad.  Shit, I want to pull you outta the darkness that you surrounded yourself with the last couple of years, Chels. Rewind time.

I have been wearing your baller little flat bill that finally came to fruition.  I expected to put it on and have you pop into the room or something.  Don’t get me wrong it is my favorite hat I have ever had and most meaningful thing I have ever designed.  I have never really owned something that I have been super scared about loosing.  I hope it gets sun faded and taken on adventures to who knows where for my whole life.

Expectations are so dangerous.  I expected to have you at my wedding, be crazy Auntie Chelsea, and be chillen on each others porches till the end of time.  I expected you to change your situation, stop associating with people who didn’t support you in any way but like clouds they didn’t hold your fall.

I am still uncomfortable accepting that I have accepted your passing. That I can now calmly tell people where I got my rose hat from without exploding into an emotional ramble. It bothers me that I am reaching a Chelsea-less normal.  It hit home today, but feel free to help me snap out of my distance whenever you please.

Love always,


Daisy Chain

You were always able to loose yourself in music (didn’t even mean to throw an Eminem pun in here but I know you like it).  But seriously, I have gotten back into slim shady these days because none of my friends were as well versed in his lyrics as you. It cracks me up remembering how in love with him you were from the time you were a preteen til the day you died. I will always have a soft spot for that raunchy rapper cause of you boo.

Besides just vibing to music in cars or our rooms, I loved how many concerts and festivals we went to together. Sometimes I would look up at concerts thinking you were grooving right next to me only to see you on top of someone’s shoulders, hyping up the people surrounding your newly created tower of crazy.

We were always “those girls” who didn’t care what it took to get to the front. Linking hands, we daisy chained our way through gaps that didn’t exist until we reached the epicenter of the dance floor. Thats when we would let go and defend our newly conquered territory with some fierce ass dance moves. Nobody can deny Chelsea would always go for gold on the dance floor and I am still inspired to do the same whenever I am at any sort of music event.

Thats why I still went to see the Dirty Dozen (awesome New Orleans brass band that Chelsea would never listen too) even though I had been socked in the stomach with Chels’s passing through a telephone speaker that morning. I got myself lost at that concert, dancing around with homies and other randos like a crazy lady.  I was super tempted to go home that night and just be still but instead I just gripped onto your hand and got pulled into the night out. I remember kinda scanning the crowd for you as the night carried on…

I still rely on music to carry me through the rough days. It helps me mentally reach out my hand to yours, and latch on for a few minutes before the song cuts and I loose you in the crowd again. 

I gotta work on my crowd surfing skills.

Ya homegirl forever,


Pocket Full of Sunshine


See Chelsea I try and take you everywhere with me these days. Like you are some little token or a toy poodle I can stuff in my pocket and no one can really tell you are there except for me.  In the morning, you hop in my car and we bump to gangsta tunes that are at least 5 years outdated, spitting those raunchy lyrics like we mean business as we drive down to work.

I like waking up to that slap in the face of heavy beats.  The other passengers might not enjoy our style as much, but we got the CD deck on lock as always so they kinda have to power through the bass heavy commute.

I love joking around with you throughout the day especially when I have gapers in my snowboard classes or I see someone on skis hitting kickers like you do.  I haven’t seen anyone that matches your running man though.  No worries. You love the Colorado sun so much that I always take you on my adventures in the mountains. The rays sweeping across both our faces. Man, its hard to wipe a cheesy smile off mine.

We keep the smiles rolling on all my homies faces, per usual. I pass out your shenanigan stories like candy and my friends eat it up like its the day after Halloween.  I think that is where you flourish most–over a couple of brews just kicking it with a group of friends passionately describing past experiences. It’s kinda funny how you are just kicking it in my pocket when they are wishing they could meet you.

Night hits and the stars appear. I am like a little kid flipping through the same bedtime story as I open up that hilarious scrap book you made me a few years ago.  it is filled with more than embarrassing photos of the two of us, cheesy friendship quotes, your messages and spirit concentrated on every page.

I don’t know how you managed to hack into my dreams but i am not mad about it. We just continue our adventures without the rules of reality to bind us down.  Mostly I don’t want to wake up because right when my eyes open you slip outta my mind like fine grains of sand.  And all I want to do is be a crazy person and not accept reality. Not accept the truth that you are no longer creating a path alongside mine, intertwining as we make our journeys through the world.

Somedays you are so gone. And that is why I cling to my dreams and childish imaginations of your existence.  It is the only way for me not be crushed by your absence.  I am actually under that overwhelming ocean of disbelieve quite frequently and that is when I feel you the least.

That’s what I am saying Chels, we are just going to have to keep hanging out in the sunshine together. Forever or else I will go crazy or worse, forget.

Love you always,