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,


Sharing The Essence Of Chelsea Rose Murphy – By Betsy Whitmarsh

The Essence of

Chelsea Rose Murphy, Chelsea Murphy
Chelsea Rose Murphy, Chelsea Murphy

Chelsea Rose Murphy


noun: essence
1 the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.

 a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is. plural noun: essences

2 an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.

Synonyms: quintessence, soul, spirit, nature, core, heart, crux, nucleus, substance, principle, fundamental quality, sum and substance, warp and woof, reality, actuality, nitty-gritty.

Please post
• A word
• A phrase
• A picture
• A memory
• A favorite show or movie
• A favorite food or restaurant
• Feel free to think outside of the box!

Chelsea Rose Murphy and Katie Carr
Chelsea Rose Murphy and Katie Carr

I thought I’d re-post what we have so far. We are up to 187 comments and pics. Thanks to everyone who has participated.. If you see any errors, just message me and I’ll get them fixed ASAP!


Brave Sublime Sensitive ️ Hilarious ️ Fearless ️ Straightforward. Never held back what she thought. Lol! Comforting Jokester ️ Mischievous (in a good way) ️ Laid back Accepting Flexible (although not literally, she tried, but never could touch her toes)! Unapologizing A Friend Magnetic! There was just something about her… Charismatic Carefree ️ Bold ️ Daring ️ Cosmic Uninhibited Intelligent Sarcastic Assertive ️ Soulful ️ The-best-sister-anybody-could-ever-ask-for BEAUTIFUL! Courageous ️ Self-Assured ️ Compassionate Leader ️ Majestic! ️ Animal-Lover Thoughtful! Beautiful Loving Funny! Lovable! Spirited! Gorgeous ️ Easy-going ️ Teammate ️ Laid-back ️ Illustrious ️ Unparalleled ️ Smart-ass Legend… wait for it… ️ Dary!!! Legendary 🙂 [‘How I Met Your Mother,’ we watched together many a times in our dorm] Contagious… her attitude spread amongst us all ️ Rambunctious ️ No-regrets ️ Gorgeous ️ Glowing ️ Effervescent ️ Enjoyable ️ Outgoing ️ Loved ️ One-of-a-kind ️ Loyal ️ Understanding ️ Unmistakable ️ Alluring Protective ️ Passionate ️ Brazen Bewitching ️ Ballsy ️ Cherished Blunt ️ Goofy Strong ️ Unpredictable Confident ️ Gorgeous ️ Lioness ️ Defiant ️ Empowering Radiant ️ Nice ️ Always there for me Good horseback rider ️ Sassy ️ Strawberry Blond Come-back Queen Relentless Precious Observant Unusual Brave Entertaining Fierce Magnetic Unbridled Unbelievably beautiful and heartfelt Spontaneous Self-aware Spunky Striking Deeply missed! One of a kind! Funny & caring Quick-and-curious-and-playful-and-strong Loved Ornery Giggly Feisty Dynamic Thongs Victoria’s Secret Yellow Cards Simply herself Stubborn Curious (or nosey) Brave Best-babysitter Montessori-child Spirited A Gift Daughter Golden Vivacious Missed Fun Accepting Loving Awesome Leader Trend-setter Naked YOLO Amazing Loyal Tireless Full of wonder Full of beauty Full of light Hard working ️ Thoughtful ️ Unpretentious ️ Radiant ️ I highly recommend reading all these comments in a row. So awesome. (Kaitlyn O) ️ Boundless ️ Happy-go-lucky ️ Vibrant ️ Contagious ️ Unforgettable Sunshine ️ Rooster-booster-slushee-lover FEARLESS!!! ️ Enigma ️ Vivacious ️ Not-a-basic-bitch ️ Laughter ️ Ever-present ️ Comforting ️ Inclusive ️ Best friend ️ Hard worker ️ Unpredictable ️ Disarming ️ Short-skirted (especially at church)! Remembered ️ Survivor ️ Uncontrollable Daring ️ Nonjudgmental ️ Wildly-ridiculous ️ Out-of-hand-hilarious ️ Up-in-yo-grill ️ Pillow-sharer ️ Crowd-surfer ️ Weirdo ️ Chiller A-raging-river ️ Strong hands (you are so beautiful…) ️ Leg-scratcher ️ Itsy snuggler ️ Generous ️ Fridge snooper ️ All about the bass ️ Missed ️ Protective ️ Indispensable ️ Gritty ️ Principled

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,


Chelsea – My Sissy By: Maddy Murphy

Chelsea, I wanted to be able to honor you by standing up and speaking about you, but there are just absolutely no words great enough to even begin to describe you.

My sissy, the most beautiful angel to ever bless this earth with her presence. Anyone and everyone who was lucky enough to meet her could sense that she is one of a kind. People like Chelsea don’t come along often! She was the type of person who could walk into a room without saying a word and still be noticed. Besides the fact that she had mesmerizing fiery red hair, stunning blue eyes and a heartwarming smile; her open mind and exceptional personality could make the shyest of people feel comfortable. She brought me out of my shell, and even though I may have realized it at the time, Chelsea taught me to be myself and not care what others thought. Being able to call Chelsea my sister feels so incredibly amazing. I would always get a sense of pride whenever we were introduced as sisters. In lack of better words, it was just super cool being her sister. I have so many great memories with Chelsea and I am forever thankful for them. From practicing for Americas Next Top Model and having to deal with top model sabotage to belting “Son of a Preacher Man” together. Chelsea and I had high hopes of becoming famous somehow. As my brother, Josh put it, Chelsea didn’t half ass fun and she taught me how to do the same.

Sissy, losing you has been so hard. Your spirit is just too big for this world and unfortunately, we must let you be free. Even though I can not see you physically, I know you will always be with me. I want to thank you for coming to seem so much already and I ask that you never stop. I hope you are having fun exploring your new world. Give everybody a hug for me. I love you to the moon and back times infinity and I can’t wait for the day when we can wrestle and play again. Try not to miss me too much. Your sissy 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,



Chelsea Rose Murphy: You Are My Sunshine

Chelsea – you are my sunshine, my incredibly beautiful bright light!  Shining bright like the sun, your vast beams of personality radiated and left its imprint on my heart.  You are like the colors of the sunset, the beautiful vibrant shades of orange I see when I look at the horizon.  And, like the sunset, your mesmerizing glow is all encompassing and lures those around you.

When you came into a room, your bountiful presence commanded attention.  People would watch in awe as you spoke.  Whether you were telling a great tale of being attacked by a shark, sharing the latest gossip or making fun of some unfortunate soul, your wicked sense of humor brought copious amounts of laughter to those around you.  And, your infectious laugh was music to my ears.

You didn’t live life quietly!  You were my red-headed wild child, fierce and ungovernable, standing up for what you believed in and teaching others to do the same.  Many a teacher would describe you as ‘spirited’ at our parent-teacher conferences.  And, as you grew older, your lively nature grew and spilled over touching all those that encountered you, leaving many memories in your wake.

But, what a lot of people didn’t get to see was the delicate spirit that lay beneath the hard candy shell.  You were one of the most sensitive people I have ever known.  As a child, I recall watching you on one of your first days at Undercroft.  You didn’t know anyone and I watched  as you observed two little girls holding hands while standing in line at the door before going outside.  You walked over to those girls and slipped your tiny hand into theirs ~ wanting to be a part of what they shared.  If any of you were ever fortunate enough to experience this side of Chelsea, you know how special it was!  I am blessed to have experienced both sides of Chelsea; the untamed and the tender.

Most of all Chelsea, my life will be forever changed because of you, my bright  beautiful sunshine!

Chels – today marks the fourth week since your precious soul left this earth.  I search for you daily and will continue to do so until I join you on the other side.  I am trying to be grateful for the 23 years I was given to make memories with you.  But, it feels like we were just getting started!  I had so many hopes and dreams of what the future would hold.  Now, as life moves forward without your physical presence, I am trying to be  mindful of the signs you leave in my path that show me that you are still with me.  I love you Chelsea Rose!

Cosmic Balls – Chelsea “The Beast” Murphy: My favorite kickball seasons by Scott Carr

It was tough picking out the song.  It had to be just right… something I could play with my windows down, and of course – it had to be Kid Rock. It’s silly, I know.  I felt like I had to be cool I guess.  …or maybe I was just looking forward to having fun, just the two of us, and I thought the right music would kick it off.  Many times the song ended up being Kid Rock’s All Summer Long – because I always thought of when I met her Mom with that song.  Whatever the song was, I was playing it loud, windows down, when I pulled up on the street in front of her house.

I was picking up Chelsea before kickball.  It became a bit of a tradition for us.  Well, I felt it was.  I was always excited when Thursday would roll around.  I’d often text her early in the day – just to let her know I was excited we were going to be playing kickball that night.  …because I was.  Damn.  I cherished those Thursday nights.

Chelsea was one of the only girls I knew that who could kick the ball well into the outfield if they let her.  It was amazing to see.  Of course kickball is for fun too, and our team – Cosmic Balls – is the most fun team in the league.  I was so especially excited about her being a part of that.  I even added her Tech9 song “I’m A Beast” to my kickball playlist.

It was cool.  Kari was sitting out those seasons, but I got to hang with Chelsea.  We had some great conversations just driving to and from kickball.  Sometimes we’d go out with the team afterwards.  For me, it was a wonderful time with my step daughter Chelsea.

Once a Cosmic Baller, always a Cosmic Baller.

Betsy Whitmarsh’s post to Chelsea Rose Murphy the day of her service

Insanity at it’s finest.
Fire starter,
Riot maker,
Moon stricken,
Animal need,
Bad seed,
Untamable beast.

Tech N9ne “The Beast”

Josh shared these lyrics at your service today. He said you used to recite them before each soccer game to get pumped up. You were a beast, babe. A beautiful, wild child who made no apologies and took no prisoners.

Words can’t describe how heartbroken we are that you are gone or how much we miss you already. I always thought you were a much better version of me. We shared that whole middle child thing. But you were fierce and fearless, while I was self-conscious and shy, and I admired you, even as I shook my head and smiled.

I love you. There is no part of me that can even begin to accept that you are gone. I am so angry, I want to break everything I can get my hands on; and so sad, I don’t know that I will ever be able to smile again.

And then I see your beautiful face smiling back at me. And I know that you’d be really ticked at me if I gave into my grief for good, because you didn’t. No matter how crappy things got, no matter how many obstacles you had to overcome, you never complained – you got back up, you kept going, and you smiled that beautiful, beautiful smile. I was and still am in awe of you. I don’t know if we deserved you, sweetheart, but we loved you so.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to you. I don’t know if I ever will. You and Chase and Josh and Maddy are what bring me peace and without you, the word seems empty. I’m not okay. Nothing is okay. And then I hear your voice in my head and I know, once again, that while I can’t escape the pain of losing you, I can’t give into it either. Somehow, it will transform us both.

“We are not human beings living spiritual lives, but spiritual beings living human lives.” Can’t think of who said that, but it makes me think of you. My mind starts to try to make sense of this somehow and then all the memories of everything that’s happened these past few years come flooding in and I know that I will never be able to make sense of any of this.

“We never bury the dead. We take them with us – It’s the price of living.” We don’t heal from these losses, either, or work our way through them. We simply learn to live with the pain of losing those we love so dearly. For better or worse. And I promise you, Chelsea – as excruciatingly painful as losing you is for me – I will find a way to take you with me, I will find a way to go on without letting go, and I will find a way to become a better person than I ever thought I could be, because you, my beautiful, beautiful child never gave in, never gave up, and never quit smiling. I love you, sweet girl.

Sent from my iPad

My Favorite Memories of Chelsea Rose Murphy by Betsy Whitmarsh

My Favorite Memories – by Betsy Whitmarsh, a memorial of Chelsea Rose Murphy

I found god in myself
and I loved her,
I loved her fiercely.

– Ntozaje Shange

This poem has always made me think of you, Chelsea. I’ve never known anyone as outwardly self-assured as you. I’ve always marveled at your confidence. You were such a combination of strength, beauty, intelligence and compassion that you had every reason to feel good about yourself. However, most young girls don’t have the clarity of vision or the strength of character that you possessed. You stayed true to yourself. Even when you felt like things weren’t going well, you were startlingly honest and insightful, both with and about yourself.

One of my favorite memories of you will always be when you wanted to model for me all the new underwear and bras you got for Christmas. Of course, ALL the underwear was thongs! I was so proud and tickled and amazed by you. Never in a million years would I have had the self-confidence to do a “fashion show” in my underwear and yet, to you, it was the most normal thing in the world. Now I think about it, I recall that there were actually quite a few of these Victoria Secret “Fashion Shows.” You were always so excited whenever you got a new bra or thong and you literally had dozens of them. I think we actually counted your bras once. You had something like one for every day of the month!

Oh, sweetie, what I would give to be sitting on your bed with you, shaking my head and laughing while you showed me your new clothes, thongs and all.


The Sound Of Sorrow by Scott Carr – In memory of Chelsea Rose Murphy

The sound first appeared to waft upwards through the grate in the floor, passing up into the hallway outside my bedroom like a leaf blown into the sky on the first day of a fall season.  The sound was different, strange, creating a feeling of curiousity in my 10 year old self – drawing me closer and out of my room.  It was impossible to place, and unable to recognize it I stepped closer to the large metal grate, revealing small pieces of the view of the first floor of the house through it as I stood above it.  The sound wavered slow and fast, drifted off and resonated back louder than before.  It was muffled, then clear, then gone, then muffled… …I bent down to the floor, and sat near the grate.  Looking through to the first floor but seeing nothing but the metal grate of the floor furnace below.

I became vaguely aware of my sister standing in her bedroom doorway, as I leaned my ear down to the grate to strain at comprehending the sound. Suddenly I heard the front door open, both through the grate and from below the nearby stairs, closing – no slamming shut.  Loud steps across the living room below, a pace like a run, made a familiar sound on the hardwoods that I’d heard so many times before… my Dad’s steps.  I heard him speak, but what he was saying was entirely too muffled for me to make out and then I realized he had reached the source of that strange ambient sound… my mother.  I heard his coat ruffle as he took her in his arms, her head lifting up to his shoulder and that sound – no longer encumbered broke free like water gushing forth from a broken dam… cries, crying, sobbing, wailing… my Dad just held her as she tried to talk to him, tried to explain what he already knew… in broken crushed destroyed words that she had gotten a phone call and her brother Butch was dead.

Ten years old.  The sound had been so strange I had not even recognized it as anything.  Even the words being spoken through horrific sadness floated around and beyond me and my full comprehension as I lay entirely upon the metal grate, my hands pressed upon it and my fingers laced through.  Motionless I simply listened without any full understanding of the scene unfolding in the living room of my house below.

The sounds so obscure and baffling to a fifth grader are not to me today, for I know their source all too well – it is the reverberations of a heart as it cracks… it is the siren sound of a heart being ripped apart… …the sound of sorrow.  Ultimate sorrow.

Experience is sometimes the biggest bitch, and as such I have made that unfortunate sound on more occasions of my life than I care to recall to count, and so I won’t.  I woke up this morning from a rested sleep – it was a good night, and has been a good morning.  I’m still amazed at how the mind works,   just laying in bed waking up slowly and my mind moves me back in time along a loose thread of memory.  A memory of the sound of sorrow.

Just a short time, hours ago, days ago… nearly two weeks now – that sound came from me – a sound made for my step daughter, Chelsea Rose Murphy.  The sound of sorrow.

Loose threads of memory bringing back the time we received the news of my Uncle Butch’s untimely death.  …and the first real time I heard… the sound of sorrow.