DEAR CATHRINE ZARN... IT'S BEEN SIX MONTHS SINCE YOU LEFT US...
Dear Cathrine Zarn,
It’s been six months since you left us and I would be lying if I said it gets easier as time goes on. Who started that lie because for me it has been the total opposite. For me as time goes on more and more life events happen that I want to share with you and there are more and more times when I see something that reminds me of you and I want to instantaneously text you.
For a long while I went absent on my blog for the sole reason that you were the only person who texted me after every new blog post to tell me how you read the entire thing and found it so relatable or funny or informative. Publishing a new post and not hearing from you was something I couldn’t imagine. I will never forget when I turned to you and confided in you about starting my blog in the first place. It was the summer of 2016. I kept worrying about no one caring about what I had to say and you kept saying “I CARE I CARE”. And I said you know what that is enough for me right there. If one person cares and if I can make a positive difference in one person’s life then that is enough for me. And FitBritLa went LIVE just like that! And since then 26,000 people have showed that they care about what I have to say. That right there goes to show how powerful of a person you were.
You pushing and nudging me to just take the leap and go for it helped make a difference in 26,000 people’s lives. I got chills just typing that. I have never met someone in my entire life other than you who can bring so many different people together in so many different ways. At your memorial party it was truly remarkable to see how many people of all different realms were there to honor your incredible life.
The day of your memorial still seems so surreal. I will never forget it was raining out and my mom and I went into the Ralph’s in Culver City and the second I got to the flower section I started having a panic attack and I couldn’t breathe. I was shaking uncontrollably and fell into my mom’s arms. I couldn’t believe this was the last time I would be picking out flowers for you. I just couldn’t process it or accept it but I didn’t have a choice.
I will never forget coming to visit you and your room looking like a beautiful garden of flower arrangements and plants. It made you so happy. Sometimes I would ask where an arrangement came from or who sent it and you would literally say “I sent them to myself, I thought they were pretty.” I never used to even think about buying flowers for myself until you passed away. Ever since that day I have bought myself flowers at least once a week pretty religiously and set them out in my living room. It reminds me of you and your life and your laugh and your smile and your voice. I still hear your voice in my head and its so strange because I feel you with me when it happens. You still feel right down the street to me on North Hayworth. I knew we would be great friends when we found out we lived two blocks away from each other on the same street!
February 22, 2019 was easily one of the hardest days of my life. When I got the news my entire body went numb. I thought back to the last time I had seen you and we exchanged Christmas gifts. I said to you, WOW! Cat! You are going all out this year after seeing so many beautifully wrapped gifts under your tree. And your response to me was “Brittney I know this is going to be my last Christmas. I can feel it in my mind and body.” I was truly at a loss for words when you said it. Looking back now the only reason it makes me feel more at ease is because it made me feel like you came to terms with the end of your life being so near. I knew how scared you were and how scared I was to lose you. I refused to ever believe your time was coming to an end any time soon because the thought of it was just unfathomable to me. I wasn’t prepared the day I lost you. I don’t think any of us could have ever been prepared for that day.
Grieving has been so weird. I have balled my eyes out randomly at times beating myself up for the most random things. For not ever bringing my kittens over for you to meet them… you always wanted to meet them but they were so little and crazy and I was so scared they would eat your plants and chew on your cords or mess anything up that had to do with you healing and getting better so I never brought them. I beat myself up for not coming to see you when you were in hospice but you told me you never wanted anyone to see you look like you had cancer and were sick so I respected what you told me. I wanted to hang onto that day we laid in your bed and watched cheesy Christmas videos all day long, exchanged gifts, cried together, laughed together, and ordered Gracias Madre Vegan Postmates even though you thought it was a tad bit spicy but I remember you loved the dessert so much. When I left you were so tired and literally passed out as I was leaving. Your aunt was in the living room the entire time. Close enough to be by your side if you needed anything but far enough away to give us our time and space together which she knew we both needed.
The weeks leading up to your passing I did something so strange. I feel weird even talking about it. I had never lost someone I was so close with when social media existed. I freaked out and panicked that your Instagram would vanish along with all our hilarious photos and memories. I spent hours on your Instagram and I screenshot every single photo of us together that I was unsure of whether or not I had it saved anywhere. They are in a folder on my computer and some days I just open it and look at all of them. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I get angry. And sometimes I just feel totally numb.
I will end this by saying I am forever grateful for that vino and vinyasa event we both went to at Orangetheory. Had it not been for the first photo of us taken together when we didn’t even know each other who knows if we would have ever found each other. I love you so much and not a single day goes by that I am not thinking of you and I mean that down to my core. I cry all the time. I can’t explain grief but one thing I do know is it is so unbelievably unpredictable. On 2-22 the angels took you thru the gates of heaven and my God every flower must have gone into full bloom as you entered. One day I will get to see you, and see heaven, and experience all of its beauty with you.
If there is one thing I am certain of it’s that your spirit is still very much alive in this world.
I love you to the moon and back Kitty Cat. Until we meet again.