1. This is not a new thing. It actually is a very not new thing. People dying is weird. Probably has been forever.
  2. Erica lived in Norman, OK. She was sweet, goofy, and cared relentlessly for animals.
  3. She was one of the first people I met when I moved to LA. We met at a bus stop where I was waiting for friends to pick me up. She asked if I knew how to get to the beach and coincidentally I was headed that way so offered her a ride.
  4. She couldn't find her friends when we got there. I think because her phone died. She instead spent the day with us.
  5. Tonight I found out that she passed on Facebook. Distance and immediacy are weird bi-products of social networking. We have no mutual friends. I don't know her family. There would have been no one else to tell me. I found out because she had been tagged in a post. A post I'd been scrolling past for the last few hours.
  6. It's weird that your Facebook page becomes a guestbook for your life. Stop by, leave a note.
  7. I'm not a pity monger and I really hate people who latch onto tragedy. People who take distant friends and after their death call them "best friends" so you can feel extra bad for them. People who after hearing your story respond with a story of theirs that they feel is sadder. That said: Erica was a friend who I'd kept in touch with since we met.
  8. It's strange how the obsession with "how" settles in very quickly. There isn't an answer that changes anything but not knowing how she passed feels at odds with the immediacy created by social networks. It's not my business and I don't know if knowing feels better.
  9. I've told myself that I'm somehow resilient to the grief of losing others. That through some evolutionary defect, I won't be affected. I've experienced loss and grief is never what's showed up. But, some thoughts down that road--
  10. There's obviously supposed to be incredible pain in losing a loved one. A parent. A dear friend. A sibling. But there's something so strangely different about losing this type of person. The friend you've been close with but has fallen back into a line of people you've connected with.
  11. Losing a great soul who's uninvolved in your day-to-day. Who comes to mind happily on occasion. Who's a breath of fresh air in every shared moment, but those moments are few are far between. I'm not equipped with the relationship, proximity, or history to yield conventional devastation.
  12. This feeling isn't about being greater than or less than grief. It's just so very different.
  13. Her death brings an overwhelmingly loud hum in my head as a handful of fond memories are filed into new folders. Moved from "let's do this again" to "that was great. And that'll be it." It's not the pain as much as it is the disorientation. By what law can I not see this person again? Life rarely flexes this type of finality.
  14. None of this is to take away from what's happened here. It's not to diminish the other relationships that she had in her life. My heart breaks for her family. Her loved ones. Those for who she cared for and who cared for her.
  15. This is a picture I took of her in August of 2008. The day after we'd met.
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