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We’re Still Those Kids

February 24th, 2011 by Selise

This is me and Lily in high school. We were best friends.

Lily died this week. She had Cystic Fibrosis and Insulin Dependent Diabetes. They told her she was only expected to live until she was 18. She would be 29 this month. 
It just doesn’t feel real. And it doesn’t feel fair. And I guess it feels like, once she got past 18, once she got older that she’d be OK. You know? Like she’d keep on going and prove them all wrong. 

I guess it’s the usual high school story. You change schools and move around and slowly, you grow up. And then afterwards you only run into each other every couple of years.

But it doesn’t make her death any easier. In fact, it sort of makes it weirder because you don’t really know how sad you’re allowed to be. 

We spent a good 3 years living in each other’s pockets. At my house or her house pretty much every weekend, at the hospital, at our families houses. And then you know, 10 years go by and you only see each other a handful of times. But she’s still that girl, you know? We’re still those kids.
And that’s what it is. We’re still those kids.

Those early years, when you’re tangled in the throes of discovering who you are; when everything is brighter and louder and more vibrant. And everything that everyone says is poignant. Everything is the start and end of something. Finding someone to go through it all with; someone that has your back; that laughs, cries, whispers and giggles with you…it doesn’t matter what happens after that. 

Those years, those golden, terrifying, hyperactive, brilliant, newborn years were spent with that amazing girl who called you her best friend. And no amount of time or distance or death can ever take that away.

Since I found out, I can’t stop remembering what feels like every single moment – of hanging out at her house or at mine or at school or the fair or the hospital or the car or just EVERY MINUTE. And I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what to do, I don’t know what I could do.

And then I thought, I can write about her. 

I can tell people, everyone that I can, what a truly wonderful, beautiful, happy, beaming, positive, inspirational, absolute LOVE of a girl she was.

Lily Korst was just the most amazing, positive, up-beat person. She kept a website that she used to talk about living with a chronic illness but not letting it affect her life. She provided support, encouragement and information to people living with serious illness. And generally made everyone around her feel wonderful.

I visited her site earlier this week and I swear, I could hear her awesome laugh and see that beautiful smile. 

While I was reading through her entries one line leapt off the page at me…

“I know it sounds stupid but you will feel happiness again one day.”

It about floored me. She was giving support and advice to a lady whose baby boy had just been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis but she could have easily been sitting beside me comforting me as I cried for losing her.

“I know it sounds stupid but you will feel happiness again one day.”

It doesn’t sound stupid Lil, it sounds just like something you’d say. And when I do feel happiness again, it will be because I knew you. 

It will be because of the nights we stayed up whispering, the days we trekked through fields to that little river, the mornings we ate breakfast cake, the months we counted down until school holidays and the years I was lucky enough to spend with you.

I’m gonna miss you so much. But I know, we’ll always be those kids.


8 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know it must be hard! Even when people live longer than we expect and even though we know they are sick it is still hard to lose them. A close family friend of us, her daughter was born with water on the brain. They didn't think she would leave the hospital. She lived until she was 8 years old. It was a good run for her but it was still devastating when she died. But believe me when I say it does get easier just remember the good times.

  2. Captain says:

    You dudes are so cute in that picture.

  3. erica says:

    there you go choking me up again.
    so sorry for your loss, she sounds amazing.
    and you are amazing… what a beautiful tribute.
    and i promise your letter is coming soon.

  4. crankytech says:

    Beautifully written. Thanks Selise.

  5. Ebony says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Selise. I am so happy that you are finding a way through with Lily's words guiding you. That's a gorgeous sentiment. Off to visit her page now. Stay strong 🙂 xox

  6. Kris says:

    She was such a beautiful gentle soul! like you! Your words are a beautiful tribute to her, bless you Selise, my love and thoughts are with you xx AK

  7. Kimberellie says:

    I'm sorry for your loss. This is such a beautiful post honoring your friend. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. much love: K

  8. Sarah Morgan says:

    I'm so sorry for you loss. Your post was so beautiful, it made me cry. You guys are so radiant in that photo.

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