Up until now it's been ok. The only deaths that've really affected my life were those of my grandparents, and needless to say, I sort of saw THOSE coming. Having someone fantastic, beautiful and full of life die needlessly, well... that's a new heartbreaking experience I was happy to forego until today. And the passing of my darling, gorgeous Erlene Zierke is something that blind-sided both myself and so many others that care for her.
Erlene was my best friend in Atlanta, and would probably have remained a friend forever. She encouraged me to drink and rejoice as often as she encouraged me to take that extra lap around the park on my bike. She was a beautiful, adventurous, smart, industrious woman who i was glad to have met, much less befriended. It is still completely devastating to me that I'll never see her again, never get her opinion on a new outfit or a new boy, dissect the lyrics of "NPR2's" latest hits together, nor will i hear about the next great thing she's been working on or blog she championed.
It's been a little over 24 hours since we've all heard the terrible news, and in that time, I've barely been able to calculate the horrible effect her loss will be to the world, and those who got to know her best.
I still hope to wake up tomorrow and find out this was all one horrible, exaggerated game of telephone.
I love you, Erlene. I'm so glad we spent as much time together as we did, and so morbidly sad that your life will never flourish to the great expectations you had. This is truly our loss.