Rachel S. Heslin
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When we first met Kiana's friend, Shawn, he complimented my Shawn on spelling his name the "right" way. We liked him a lot: intelligent, creative, quirky -- definitely our type of people.

He was the one who stayed sober at their parties, making sure that nobody got terminally stupid. He and Kiana were part of a theater crowd: acting, designing and teching community productions, all young and talented and surprisingly unaffected (for theater types.) A couple months ago, he had taken a break from his job doing pyro for Disneyland to tour with a traveling production of "On Golden Pond."

Yesterday, he was found, dead, in his hotel room.

The autopsy report said it was meningitis. He thought he'd just had a cold, and because he was in Canada, he wanted to wait until he got home before seeing his doctor.

He was 22 years old.

I don't feel angry.
I don't want to rail against God and nature and whatever.
I don't need to know why.

I am just mourning his loss, the dreams he won't get to pursue, the place he won't grow to fill in our lives, and possibilities cut short. It's over. His life is done. That was it.

That was it.


I wish I could leave you with a pithy, uplifting homily about living each day as if it were your last, but my heart just isn't into it. Not just yet.

Maybe when I stop crying.

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