I’m in shock after hearing news of the passing away of a writer friend I met at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City in August 2016.
I first met my friend online, after joining the Facebook group established for the conference. Realizing I was coming all the way from Australia and that I only knew a few attendees, she invited me to a dinner she was organizing for the night before the conference opened. An informal get-to-know-your-fellow-attendees dinner, where we took up four long tables of a bustling Italian-style restaurant and talked, and talked. And talked.
It was a great night at the start of a wonderful conference of learning and laughter.
After I returned to Australia, we continued a long-distance friendship via Twitter and Facebook. Over time, our communication via tweets, comments, and likes became sporadic, yet I managed to stay informed of the progress of her dreams, as I believe she did of mine.
Her last Facebook post I remember reading was one where she excitedly announced that her Kickstarter campaign to fund the publishing of her picture book had raised more than 50% of its target on the first day. I was so happy for her.
Then life got in my way, as it does. The thought of checking in on her campaign slipped from my mind.
Yesterday, I learned from a fellow conference attendee that this lovely person passed away unexpectedly right after the launch of the campaign.
I couldn’t believe it. After twenty-four hours to digest this tragic news, I’m still struggling.
My heart aches for her husband, two children, and greater circle of family and friends.
And it aches for her, that she never lived to see her dream become a reality.
Life is often far too short. I guess that’s what makes it so precious.
Rest in peace, K.