Friday, I got a message from my friend telling me that Erica had been found dead in her apartment on Wednesday. At first, I didn’t believe it. She was so young, so talented, so giving of her time and knowledge. Then of course, it started to trend on Twitter and it was confirmed. I never met Erica in person. Never chatted with her on Skype. I did however chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. We never got into anything deep – it was mostly current events and writing, but, she is actually responsible for connecting me with a person who kicked me some freelance work and eventually became the best friend I never met. LoL!
All weekend, if you search her name on Twitter or Google, the results read like a eulogy. All have some story attached to how awesome Erica had been in their time of need. There were stories of her motivating writers who were suffering from a block or lack of motivation. There were stories of her offering up creative ideas. She even encouraged people to speak up about their bout with mental illness as she was so candid in speaking about her own. The one thing I kept thinking while reading these Tweets, FB wall posts, blog posts and comments was, “I wish she could have seen this out pour.”
So often, people mean so much to us and we don’t tell them. We take their presence, their love, their kindness for granted. Then we talk about all the good they did when they can’t hear it. I challenge all of us to tell somebody, everybody, how much they’re loved and appreciated and cherished before it becomes a eulogy.