Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Hard Loss

This past Sunday, while working at the Inman Park Festival, I received news of a friend's sudden death. I'd been texting with her just last week. And now she was gone. A bit of a shock...unlike the long "lead time" (for lack of a better term), with my father's cancer, this was more like a punch to the gut.

As it turned out, the festival got rained out on Sunday afternoon. It was bad for business, but good for me personally, as after hearing the news, I really didn't have the heart to smile and interact with customers. I packed up the soaking wet booth, went home to change clothes, found that the roof was leaking, and stood outside for another hour to try and help my husband fix it. Another clothing change and then I crashed on the couch, and didn't get back up. For three days.

I am a bit surprised at how hard this news has hit. My friend was out of the country on vacation when she died, and news / details were sketchy at first. Then I unintentionally learned more details than I really needed to know and couldn't stop thinking about what her last moments must have been like. It's taking some work to get my perspective back.

 Me, Kathleen, and another friend at a 4th of July party last year

My friend, Kathleen, was someone whom I didn't see much - she moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles last year, and I'd only seen her once since - but we stayed connected on Facebook and via texts. She was one of the nicest girls you could ever meet. We bonded over a shared love for music, movies, and shoes. She lived her life to the fullest - I know it sounds like a cliche, but she wrung every drop out of life - and was a bright spark for so, so many people. We're all a bit stunned that she's suddenly gone.

Memorials are being planned in both Atlanta and Los Angeles, and her New York peeps and London folks are planning less formal get-together remembrances of her. Flags flew at half-mast on Monday at the company for which she worked. Facebook photos and remembrance postings have been both comforting and heartbreaking.

My memories with Kathleen are not many, but they all have one thing in common - they're happy. Not that she was bursting with joy all the time, but this girl had a very positive outlook on life, and her presence left her mark on everyone whose life she touched, no matter how briefly.

I love you, Kathleen. I wish we could have spent more time together, but I cherish what we did have. Your memory will always be an inspiration to strive harder, love more, look forward, and to just live every experience. I'll miss you. 

Currently wearing: OPI "It's All Greek to Me". Because I know you'd want to know.  :)

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