IMG_2670 IMG_2680 IMG_2698

Today is my brother J.J.’s birthday. He would have been 28. Twenty-eight years ago God brought the sweetest, funniest, and most loving person into this world. This person shaped me and molded me into who I am today. Sometimes I like to think that he was brought here just for me. To be my guardian angel. Like a messenger or something. To teach me about life and love. And when J.J. knew that I was ready to take on the world by myself, he left. I really do believe that sometimes.

I haven’t had a bad day in awhile. Just a lot of bad moments. These moments catch me off guard every single time because I forget that I actually lost him. I still think he’s out there somewhere…making someone laugh. I go about my day just fine. I make my breakfast, go to work, hang out with friends and than out of no where…boom. It hits me like train. It’s all random too. I’ll be folding shirts at work and I’ll think of him. I lose my breath sometimes just thinking that he’s really gone. The vivid pictures in my head won’t go away. Who? What? When? Where? And the biggest question of all…why? Why did he have to die. The last time I saw him replays in my mind over and over again. Why can’t I have that moment back? If I could have any moment in time back it would be that one. I would tell him that I loved him more than anything. I would hug him and probably never let him go. I would kiss him on the cheek one last time. I would probably laugh at one of his silly jokes. I wouldn’t say goodbye, I would say see ya. My biggest regret in my life was not doing any of those things. I have to live with the fact that I didn’t tell him I loved him when he left. Does he know?

November 7th will never be a normal day. Every year on this day I will always be in a state of wonder. What would he have wished for as he would have blown out his candles? What kind of car would he have driven? What kind of job would he have had? What girl would have his heart? What would be his favorite song on the radio? What would he have had for lunch today? Does he still like the color blue? Does he still love cheese on top of his soup? Does he like Taylor Swift’s new song? Would he like to go on a walk with me today? What does he want for Christmas this year? Is he happy?

I know I shouldn’t do that to myself. Trust me, I’ve tried pushing him away from my thoughts. I’ve tried skipping the songs that remind me of him. I’ve tried avoiding all memories of him completely, the happy ones and the sad ones. But it doesn’t work. I end up building everything up inside until I eventually explode. Talking about him is my therapy. If I had someone to talk to about him I would talk about him all day long. Another kind of therapy for me, as of lately, is that I like to put on a song that he would like and make up dances in my head that we would have danced to. Me and him just dancing hip hop or whatever routine we would wanna do. We would be totally in sync and just jamming out. We would be YouTube famous, I know it. I wake up from my daydream to find that it didn’t happen and it won’t ever happen. It’s when reality hits and I can’t stand it but for a second I’m completely okay.

He gives me these moments. Short but very very special. Moments of clarity and peace.  I will keep them with me forever. In one of my recent dreams he told me, “Karissa, don’t worry about what happened. I’m okay. I’m okay.” He comes to me in my sleep when my reality is a nightmare just to see how I’m doing or to say I love you…and then he’s gone. He still continues to make me smile. How you ask? He always finds a way. Whether it’s a heart shaped cloud with a smiley face in the middle (yes, that actually happened) or it’s just the sound of his voice, he somehow manages to get a smile out of me. When J.J. was alive he gave me my favorite days and I’m so grateful for that.

28. I love you.





365 Days in the Dark.  

20th Birthday

These pictures mean a lot to me. I wanted to remember where I was at in my life when I was 20. I like ice-cream. I like going to the movies with Wyatt. I put cheese on everything. Naps keep me happy and I love to dress up. Even though I’m in my twenties (wuw…thats weird to say) I will always be a kid. This little girl inside will never want to grow up. I will say though, I think I’ve been through my fair share of battles. I’d like to think of myself as one tough cookie (mmm, cookies) because after much loss, I’m still here, standing tall… ok I’m wearing heels but whatever. I know my brother is looking down on me and thinking “Atta girl.” But to tell you the truth, its still so hard. I would want more than anything in this world to celebrate my 20th birthday with my brother, but that wasn’t part of plan I guess. In spirit, I know he’s here walking with me, everyday. I hope he sees how far I’ve come. I hope he knows that even though I’m trying to move on…I will always miss him, with every step I take. Looking back on my life I wanted to remember that even though my life was dark at times I still managed to smile and eat my ice-cream. I’m proud of myself. I did it. I’m doing it. Taking it day by day. Can’t wait to see what the next twenty years bring. Lots of recovery, happiness and life, I hope.

Whatever it is YOU’RE going through, always remember to smile and eat that ice-cream. Somebody loves you. I love you.
DSC_0326copy DSC_0339copy DSC_0340copy DSC_0359copy DSC_0368copy DSC_0369copy DSC_0371copyDSC_0314copy

Before I go I want to give a huge thank you to Aspen from Aspen Groen Media for taking these uh-mazing pictures. She made my vision come to life and took all my stress away. That’s all I ever look for in a photographer and she nailed it. I have much more pictures with her coming up soon so stay tuned and while you’re at it go check out her blog Makeover with Aspen. Like her Facebook pages as well —> Photography | Blog  Thank you Aspen. (Big hug here)



P.s. My birthday was August 23rd. Where are all my virgos at? Beyonce? Mother Teresa? Ladies, we rock.

Dress | Shoes (Zara)