I miss my cousin, my insomnia confidant Ashley Louise Collier December 4, 1979 – October 27, 2016

Well it’s been a year, and here is another difficult anniversary.  My cousin and I had the strangest relationship.  I was already 5 years old when she was born and until the last 7-8 years of her life we hadn’t been particularly close.  I don’t even know how it happened, but one day we realized we were alike, we liked the same things, we had the same views on things, we had the same sense of humor, we even had the same sleeping disorder.

I spoke at her funeral and I can’t remember the exact wording I used, but I had said it was like if you were watching a movie and the character took two different paths, we were the same in so many ways, but our lives were complete opposite of each other.  I also talked about how I didn’t think people even realized how close we were.  Ashley lived away from Utah a lot of the time, but we would stay up night after night messaging each other and laughing our asses off.  She was the younger one, but she taught me so much.

The last time I saw Ashley was at Madi and Tyler’s Balloon release, she had just moved home and could not make it to the funeral.

The odd thing is everyone at the balloon release kept asking who Ashley was, but I have to say that day she stuck out, it was like she had a light beam shining on her.  Ashley was always pretty, Always!  On that day she was wearing a blazer, a pencil skirt and heals. I think she had come straight from work , she always worked in law offices so her attire was definitely high quality, and that day she had her hair down.. If you knew Ashley you know about that hair, she had and always had the most gorgeous hair, I don’t even think there is anything to compare it to.  Think of the best hair you have ever seen…. Ashley’s hair was better I guarantee it.

I miss her, the months after Madi’s death Ashley would always check on me.  If it was the middle of the night and she saw me active on Facebook she would send me a ” Jocey are you ok?” message.  I miss those messages, I definitely struggle with the void losing her has left.  I still forget and go to message her when something funny happens.

I had read this at her funeral.  I had mentioned that it was cheesy and that I knew that, but when I had heard this on Grey’s Anatomy while writing what I would be saying at her funeral it reminded me of Ashley.

Ashley wherever it is that you are I hope everything is exactly how you dreamed things to be, I love you so much.

“You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales? That fantasy of what your life would be. White dress, Prince Charming who’d carry you away to a castle on a hill… You’d lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming. They were so close you could taste them. But eventually you grow up. One day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely ’cause almost everyone still has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they’ll open their eyes and it will all come true. At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale might be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it’s not so important that it’s happy ever after, just that it’s happy right now. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you. And once in a while, people may even take your breath away. ”  

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