Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

From Loved Ones & Friends

Letter from Monica Lyman

Dear Ellen,

I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to write. I am truly at a loss for words over Kate’s death. I search for words of comfort to help you all (and us) through this extremely painful time, and I am finding it very difficult.

We talk about Kate every single day. Emily (my 4 year old) thinks about Kate all of the time. I explained to my kids that although Kate is dead, her spirit lives on – in our hearts, in our minds, and all around us. Emily says that when the wind blows it is Kate’s spirit.

Caitlyn said a prayer for Kate tonight (she normally never prays) and the questions are endless. Can Kate hear us now? Is she watching us during our Easter Egg hunt? Can we see her spirit? Can we touch it?

The last time we heard from Kate was at Christmas. She sent the girls a wonderful Christmas package with all sorts of little presents but the one with the most impact is a calendar that the kids get to decorate themselves. It came with a bunch of stickers to highlight certain days. We have it hanging in our living room. On the day we heard about Kate, Emily took the calendar down and carefully colored in one of the months "to remind me of Kate."

By far the favorite game the girls liked to play with Kate was as follows: Kate would hold a medium sized squishy ball in her right hand over her head. Caitlyn would literally climb up her body & her arm to grab the ball. (For Emily, Kate would put the ball behind her back.) They would play this game over and over until Kate and the girls were really sweaty!

Kate was always really active with the girls which we loved. She would play with them on the beach, in the water down at the river. She often took them to our local park to have a picnic & play. The girls loved to admire all of her far out jewelry – the beetle bracelet in particular – and she used to let them try on her pretty necklaces.

Kate was always bringing them special little gifts for Halloween or for their birthday. After she graduated from UVM and moved back home, she came by to visit us and brought the kids a little gift.

Kate lived life and really enjoyed life. She never sat around. She was always up and about getting ready for the next adventure or activity.

I am so thankful to have had Kate as a babysitter. We all adored her and she will always be part of our family.

Unfortunately, I have no other photographs of Kate other than the ones you already have. If you would like another copy, please let me know and I can have one made.

I remember meeting you briefly at Smokejacks in Burlington where you were celebrating Kate’s graduation. If you are ever in Burlington, please give us a call.

I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through right now. Our thoughts and prayers are continually with you. If there is anything else that I can do, please let me know.


Monica Lyman


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