Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Erica Dawn Kilpatrick who was born in Richmond, Virginia on August 13, 1988 and passed away on February 22, 2005 at the age of 16. We will remember her forever. 

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February 21, 2017

Tomorrow will mark my 12th year without you, Erica. So much has changed, and yet there are some things that remain the same. Like when I run into one of your friends, and even though they are "all grown up" and might be married with kids (or single), I can still see reflections in them of the years when all of you were hanging out and just being kids. Makes me smile.
It's good to see them making their own way. Putting their unique stamp on life, and doing what they can to change things in this world for the better.

I miss you so much.


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February 22, 2016

11 years...

I miss you, Erica.


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February 22, 2015

10 years...

I love you, Erica.

I've thought about this day coming...the 10 year anniversary. I still can't believe that it has been 10 years without her. For the first time since I came into the flower shop to order flowers for her funeral, the flower shop "lost" my order for your flowers. They worked hard to put something together last minute - and it turned out to be a beautiful arrangement. But, there are no real sunflowers in the arrangement only silk. Even though all of the other flowers are real, it made me sad.

I thought about what I would say, and I don't have anything enlightening to say. Nothing profound comes to mind. What I have thought about recently is how I felt that first year you were gone. The different interactions that I had with people and how some of those broke my heart. People can say the most hurtful things...not even realizing it.

I went over to your best friend's house to see her and your other friends taking pictures for the prom. I was standing on the outside trying to stay out of the way. It was their day, after all. Then one of the mothers looked at me and asked what I was doing there. Yeah, I thought...I shouldn't be here.

Eating lunch with some of your friends and I described how hard it had been to go through your room and pack it up. I described how I had picked up one of your jackets and it still smelled like you. And your friend said she didn't know that Erica had a "smell". It smelled like her perfume I found myself explaining. Was I being overly dramatic and your friend was calling me on it?

Well-meaning people have said they know "exactly" how I feel losing my daughter because they lost their "______" (fill in the blank). Grief is a personal pain experience, and everyone's is different.

It used to be hurtful for me to hear that someone's life was saved because they prayed and therefore were blessed in some way that apparently Erica wasn't. So many prayers went up after Erica's accident. And, still - she died. Prayers are meant to calm and give comfort to the ones that are praying. I liken it to meditation. They do not (nor did they) change the outcome. How could God ignore the prayers for Erica? He didn't. He doesn't change the outcome because of prayers. Pray because it gives you comfort not because you think it will change the outcome.

I love you, my angel. Always and forever.

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February 22, 2014

Nine years...

The sun continues to rise and set
and I continue to get a year older,
but that doesn't change the
fact that I miss you and
I will always love you.

I learned first-hand that
life is not fair.
That no amount of youth,
potential and goodness will cause
death to pass over.

Life is short.
Good times are wonderful, blissful
moments to be treasured
as much as possible
because bad times will come.

I will never be prepared
for those bad times.
Ever.
Because bad things
do happen to good people
despite everything.

I am the Phoenix rising from her ashes.
I struggled through the flames,
and came out the other side.
Although, my scars are not visible
they are nonetheless still there.

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February 22, 2013

Eight years.

Once upon a time, I thought my life was in order. I was married and had two beautiful kids who kept me extremely busy with their pursuits. I had a household to run while working full time and going to college to get my Bachelor degree. I was busy. I did not want to notice some of the tears in the fabric of my busy life that was happening along the edges. I was keeping things moving and keeping things together.

But, then eight years ago my chaotic life imploded. I lost one of the best parts of me in a car accident. I lost you, Erica. Life is certainly not fair, is it? You were sixteen years old with your whole adult life to look forward to and it was snuffed out too soon.

What didn’t kill me made me…stronger? Not sure about that, Erica. I don’t always feel stronger for still being here. Your death changed my view of my chaotic life and I guess in that I had to be stronger to keep going. A lot has changed in my life over the past eight years, Erica. Some changes have been joyful and some have been tragic. I would gladly suffer through those tragic times all over again if it meant that I could undo your accident.

I miss you.

I will always miss you.

I love you, Erica.


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February 21, 2012

Tomorrow will be 7 years since you passed away. I can't believe it. The pain of losing you is as fresh as it was that day. I miss you so very much, and I think about you every day...always.

I love you, Erica.

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February 22, 2011

The calendar has cycled back around.  Yesterday, another warm day for February 21st and it was a Monday again.  The President's Day holiday.  Today, six years ago you were taken off life support and slipped away.

We were waiting for Grandpa Sebree to come up from South Carolina before they could wheel you away.  The life support machines were still breathing for you, the sound of them were strangely comforting.  I still wasn't ready to let you go.  But, I knew that time was ticking down and that I could not suspend this moment in time.

Granna and I scooted you over in the hospital bed so that I could lay down beside you.  Being mindful of all the tubes and cords that were connected to you, I gently held you, kissed your head, whispered "I love you, Erica" in your ear, and fell asleep.  They woke me up some time later.  It was late.  Grandpa was here.  I was groggy, some of which were the meds I had taken that made me more relaxed.  But, I slowly got up from your hospital bed so Grandpa could say his goodbyes.

After Grandpa left the room, they allowed me a few more minutes with you before they wheeled you away.  It was the last time I held your warm hand and kissed your warm cheek, Erica.  I wanted to stay with you.

I felt numb inside.

There is nothing more profoundly painful than for a parent to lose a child.  I've been dealt more pain since then, but nothing that tore my heart and soul as much as losing you, Erica.

Your Dad is there with you now, Erica.  Guide him and comfort him.  I know he is smiling and at peace because he is holding his "doots" again.

Love you, always.

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February 22, 2010

On February 21, 2005 schools were out because it was a holiday, and I had taken off work to be at home with you and Brian. You had left the house to meet up with Jaime, and you said you would probably meet me and Brian at the gym afterward.

But, you didn't meet us. I didn't have a good feeling about it, so I cut my workout short and went to the locker room to get my things and told Brian that we needed to go. Your Dad called my cell phone as I was walking out of the locker room. He sounded strained...he said that I needed to come to MCV right away that you had been in an accident. As I walked into the MCV Hospital Emergency waiting room, I saw your Dad sitting there all by himself! All the emotions I had kept in check as I was speeding towards MCV came out all at once.

Within a few hours, the news about your accident had circulated through your network of friends and family and the emergency room waiting area and parking lot filled with students from L.C. Bird High School. It was incredible.

On this day, five years ago while we watched, hoped and prayed that you would try to breathe on your own, the doctors took you off life-support. Several agonizing minutes later, they pronounced you dead.

Erica, I can still feel the panic and overwhelming, life-changing sadness all over again when I think back to that week. I don't really know how I appeared on the outside, but inside...I was screaming and crying at the same time. How could this be happening??! I remember walking through that week making the arrangements that needed to be made, mostly in a fog.

The effects of that day still ripple through all of us that knew you. It changed me, and it changed us all in one way or another. I know that I am a better person because I had you in my life - you are one of the best parts of me, and Brian is the other.

I love you, Erica.

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August 13, 2009

Happy 21st Birthday, my Angel.

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February, 2009

Erica,

It's been...four years....four YEARS without you here. I miss you so much, Erica. Very few people will truly understand how much your death changed me...how it changed all of us who loved you. You and Brian are the best part of me, and I am so very proud of how very smart, kind, and loving you two grew up to be...and how I continue to see that in Brian every day.

I love you, Erica - now and forever.

Mom

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February, 2008

Erica,

Another year has passed, but yet - today it just seems like it was only yesterday that I received the phone call that you had been med-flighted to MCV hospital and that I needed to get there right away.  I said so many prayers on the drive over to MCV -- praying that you were going to be okay.  But, you weren't okay.  Not at least from my point of view...I'm sure you were happy to be in His presence.  But, you left behind so many that loved you - and that still miss you.

We each have a destiny - God's grand plan for us.  Perhaps it takes many lifetimes to realize that destiny...or maybe just one.  I struggle with my patience and faith -- but, I keep in my heart the hope of seeing you and holding you again.  I have to believe that God does hear my prayers and he does answer them...even if that answer isn't exactly what I had in mind.

I love you, Erica.  I miss you so much -- like as many drops of water it takes to fill the oceans.

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February, 2007

Erica,

I would love to be able to reach out and touch you – to whisper in your ear that I love you, to let you know how much I miss you. But, it breaks my heart over and over again that I can’t.

I could spend a lifetime on the “if only’s”…if only you hadn’t gone that route; or if only school wasn’t out that holiday. But, that is torturous.

You are, by far, the one star which burns the brightest…the last light to fade into the rising sun. Until we can embrace each other again – rest in peace, Erica. 

I love you,
Mom


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September, 2006

                 
Love Is Stronger Than Death



Love is stronger than death.
So I must be content to know that
love is not affected by death--
it doesn't end, it doesn't diminish,
it doesn't change.
Instead, love is immortalized
and eternalized through death.
And the possibility of that love ever
being damaged or broken
is eliminated forever.
I'll put my trust in love.


- Mary Hollingsworth

...I love you, Erica.  Always.

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February, 2006

Oh, God.  This does not seem real even today.  How can I put into words what is truly in my heart?  My soul screams out for you every day.  I fluctuate between being “okay” and being in that dark empty place where your light here on earth used to shine.  People comment on how strong they think that I am…but, that is just a necessary illusion provided by the grace of God to carry me through.

The phrase “time heals all wounds” is incorrect – it is better said that “time teaches us how to endure the pain”.  After a year, I don’t feel healed – instead I’m learning how to function day-to-day along with the constant tears, the pain deep in my heart and soul, and the loneliness without you.

Life is not measured by the number of days you spend here on earth, but instead by what you’ve accomplished with the time you were given. Erica, you made more of an impression on people in sixteen years, than most people do in an entire lifetime.

I close my eyes, and I can visualize you running up to me – you practically leap into my embrace as you wrap both of your arms around my neck and hug me tight.  Kissing me quickly on my cheek – you then grab my hand and pull me after you – you are excited for me to meet everyone there in heaven with you…




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February, 2005



I miss you, sweetheart.

You were a beautiful, talented, young lady who had so much to live for…and so much more to do.  Even though, I know you are with the Lord now singing in his heavenly choir, I find it hard to think that your time was done here. 
I was so proud of you.  You were able to do cheering, two show choirs, two dance classes, two churches, gym, and still make straight A’s!  You were amazing.

We shared a love for movies – especially the scary movies, and I will miss having you to watch them with me (or seeing them first and telling me not to bother seeing them because they sucked!).  You were my workout buddy – making my abs burn with all the workout moves you learned in dance class.  Or, saving me the elliptical machine next to you so that we could work out side by side.

I still can’t believe you’re gone.  I go to sleep missing you, and wake up realizing that I have to spend the rest of my life without you.  I haven’t come to grips with what happened, yet – perhaps I never will.  The grief is overwhelming.  I grieve for you every minute of every day. I wish I had gotten a miracle that day, but I didn’t.  I am thankful that your last conscious thought was not of fear, and that you didn’t suffer.  I hope in this the doctors and witness to the accident are correct.

I love you, baby.
Mom

Tributes and Condolences
Happy birthday   / Maureen Klecak (Friends mom )
I just want to give you an update claudia she will be an RN is few months. You would be so proud of her .it was a challenge for her to return to mcv after loosing some good friends there but she got over her fear and she works there she plans on cont...  Continue >>
Always in my thoughts   / Chelsea Turner (friend)
I miss you so much. I think about you often so much I wanna tear up but I remain strong for you bc I know you'd make a funny face and cheer me up. I was with krystal last weekend and we talked about all the good times it's been and how it's been 9 ye...  Continue >>
miss you   / Joshua Sebree (uncle)
I miss you very much Erica, I can't believe its been so long since you've left us. It seems like yesterday that I was driving your grandpa and grandma up to say goodbye. I miss watching you grow up, you were always so smart. I miss the time that we a...  Continue >>
miss you   / Becky Parker (friend)
Erica I miss you so much! I think about you everyday. I wish you were here to meet my daughter McKenzie! She is wonderful! I miss you girl. I miss our wawa trips to get our apple cider french vanilla and pumpkin spice with our sweet cream cheese pret...  Continue >>
Michelle's Beautiful Baby Girl   / Jules (Cousin)
Erica Michelle and Bobby had a BEAUTIFUL baby girl today they named after you which I'm sure you already know :) I wanted to thank you for watching down over all of them today and helping with such a sweet little addition to our family. Michelle ...  Continue >>
6 years ago..  / Ryan Recupero     Read >>
Love you  / Nanny     Read >>
Still thinking about you  / Jenny (Friend)    Read >>
six years later ...  / Jamie West (Family)    Read >>
Happy Birthday  / Michelle McDorman (Cousin)    Read >>
Happy Early Birthday  / Craig Waterworth (Best Friends )    Read >>
Short and Sweet  / Claudia     Read >>
thinking of you on my special day  / Jamie Colgin (family)    Read >>
MISS you and LOVE you  / Shell (cousin)    Read >>
Love you  / Nanny     Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
Her legacy
Heaven's Angels Fund Scholarship - In Memory of Erica Kilpatrick  

This scholarship was granted by the Heaven's Angel Fund in memory and honor of Erica, and was given to one student from Erica's senior class at L.C. Bird High School.  To be considered for the scholarship, the students had to write an essay.  From all of the essays that were submitted, Sean Nelson's essay was chosen as the winner.  He was presented with the scholarship at the Senior Awards Ceremony, June 2006.

February 20, 2006  
For those of you that made it out to the candlelight memorial for Erica on Monday, February 20th -- it was a beautiful service.  We want to thank Clark Anders and Pastor Shawn for putting this service together.

It was a wonderful tribute to Erica for all of us that love her to have come together to comfort each other, and to share memories of her.

God bless.
Erica Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial Fund  
     This fund was established by her parents for donations in lieu of funeral flowers.  Over the past three months it has grown to $4,200 which was given to the L.C. Bird's show choir groups (Reflections and Sudden Image) during the Spring Concert on May 23, 2005.
     The proceeds will be used to purchase a new synthesizer/keyboard for the show choir, and it will have a gold bar on it commemorating Erica's life and love of music.
Erica Dawn Kilpatrick Music Scholarship  

(formerly the Music Booster Scholarship)  This scholarship will be given out each year at the Spring Concert to two seniors who will be going into the Arts.

Read more...
 
Erica's Photo Album
02/19/05 - Hilary and Erica wearing their matching show choir sweatshirts in WVa.
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