I had a different post scheduled and I will put it up later today, but I couldn't let it post without first writing this.
Last night I opened up facebook to find that someone I know died suddenly and tragically and I am just very sad.
The last time I saw Echo she was probably only about 12 years old, it was 2000. (For those of you counting I would have been 23.) I had known her for several years by then. Her family attended the same church as mine so we saw each other regularly.
She was different from a lot of other kids, dreamy and earnest and desperately wanting someone to shower her with affection and love. She was a bit odd, eccentric even and trying to hard to fit in. I was very fond of her.
I don't know the exact path that let that sweet and loving little girl toward a drug addiction, nor do I know what route took her to the place she ended up yesterday, coughing up blood without being able to stop, but it's not hard for me to imagine.
There has been a lot of death in my circles recently. I have no idea why this one has hit me the hardest. Perhaps because in my mind she is still the child I loved, and the intervening years have not gone by for me.
But I think it's mostly for who she was, the light that resided in her, and the horrible way in which it was quenched.
I remember taking her hands and dancing all over the room. I remember her climbing into my arms to tell me stories. I remember the curve of her chin and the length of her limbs even then, both graceful and gawky at the same time. I bet she grew up tall.
I remember as she spun around and around and around in her living room, showing off her dances.
My heart is on the ground.
Goodbye Echo. I love you. I wish I had not moved so far away and so out of touch that I wasn't around to tell you that every day for all these years. I wish I still had the chance to tell you again how special you are.
I know you are finally at peace, and I am trying to be glad for you, but it feels to be far too soon.
Goodbye my dear. I hope you are dancing now.