Friday, July 20, 2012

It's everybody's loss

"So sorry for your loss."

My dear friends, hockey and otherwise, have expressed this sentiment many times today as I've let loose my sorrow at the horrific death of my friend and fellow red-headed Texan hockey writer, Jessica Redfield, in the movie theater shootings in Colorado last night.

I very much appreciate the sentiment and support and hugs, but all I can think is, "It's all our losses. We ALL lose here." We are all minus one spunky, funny, down-to-earth, smart, hockey-loving gal.

She was someone I considered a friend, even though we hadn't met yet (I always assumed we would eventually... hockey is a small world), but I've come to realize how many people fall into all the same boat. "I just talked/texted/DMed with her yesterday." I've seen that so many times from so many people today. She managed to touch that many lives, up close, from afar, everywhere she went.

We bonded over a number of things: Being southern girls passionate about a northern sport. Our deep love for Texas and hockey and most importantly, sharing our love of the game with others through our media work. She didn't just dally around the edges of hockey either. She learned to play, she wrote about it, she connected with movers and shakers in the hockey media fearlessly -- not because of what they could do for her, but because of what she could learn from them.

It's been a really tough day. I can't imagine how much worse it's been for her family and closest friends. I'm surprised by how hard this has hit me personally, but Jessica stood for something that you don't see much anymore. She had integrity in the face of plenty of reasons to ditch integrity. She had maturity beyond her years in that regard (beyond MY years, even), and I've long admired her for that. I was so looking forward to seeing her career and her life blossom. She had so much going for her, I had no doubt she was going to get a big chance one of these days.

I've seen a lot of great things written about Jess today, but this post spoke to me the most.

I keep seeing pictures of her that her boyfriend is tagging on Facebook and I just can't believe she's gone. But in a way, she lives on in all of us who knew her, even just a little bit. I'm having her initials painted on my mask so I always carry a little piece of her spirit with me. But right now, it feels hollow. A pretty special light was extinguished last night and it will take a while to come out of the dark.


Ally  July 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM  

Truly, this is an absolutely horrific act. As your friend, I am so sorry for your loss of another friend. As a hockey gal, I am so sad to see such a vital part of the hockey community gone too soon. *hugs*

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