Monday, December 20, 2010


Last night, as I was waiting for Vince's plane to bring him home to me, after a day filled with Christmas shopping and chatting with friends, I find out an old and dear friend was found dead. Her name, her real name, was Kate and we'd been friends for 23 years.

Right now it's not clear how she died, but it was not expected. Natural causes, though unlikely, is not unheard of, but due to a few odd circumstances, suicide is also a possibility.

I am consumed with grief.

She and I weren't close in the way of women who call each other on the phone and go shopping. Instead, we were friends of youth and shared experience. We met through the theater and acting and more nights than I can recall we shared licquor fueled discussion of life, the universe, and everything. More than once or twice, or hell 10 or 20 or more times, she and a few others were still at my house still partying at 4:30 in the morning when I finally went to bed and told them to turn off the lights when they were ready to sleep. For the past 23 years, she and I spent every New Year's Day together, first 13 or so at my various houses and the past 10ish at our friend Claire's place. I was looking forward to seeing her there, or somewhere, this year too. Just like always.

She was one of the circle of friends I mentioned in my post about "spicy vanilla" friends, with Claire, an artist and wit. She too, wasn't your average woman. Sadly, she never married, rarely had dates. Last New Year's she was joking about becoming the remaining "cat lady" after Claire married for the second time. She loved her cats and that's part of the mystery. When her body was found in her home with the door unlocked by another mutual friend who went to check on her after she didn't show up for work and didn't answer repeated phone calls, her beloved cats were nowhere to be found.

She wasn't an easy woman, by any means. She had a razor sharp mind and fearless mouth and wasn't afraid to use either. She reserved most of her scorn for the stupid and slow but was a formidable advocate for animals and people she called "the too nice for their own good." More than once she shut up a bully or other idiot who was picking on someone who wouldn't or couldn't stand up for themselves. She did it once or twice for me. She had a reputation for being "not nice" but only to those whose stupidity or rudeness earned her wrath.

She had a huge heart. And she never got to share it with a partner. And that, I think, is the main cause of my grief and sadness. She deserved a loving partner as much as the next person. But for reasons I don't know and probably wouldn't understand, she never found the love of her life, her partner, her compliment, like I found in Vince and like so many of my friends have found in each other (D&M, D&T, T&E, P&A, and on and on and on.) Whether she took her own life or it was inexplicably cut short, she didn't have a snuggle-buddy, a life-partner, someone to share the burdens and double the fun of run-of-the-mill life. And that is indescribably sad to me.

She wasn't yet 50 years old. She was beautiful, funny, smart, kind, compassionate, brave, fierce, and a force to be reckoned with. And I was looking forward to our usual New Years Day shenanigans. It never occured to me that she wouldn't show up for the party this year.

Sayanara, sugar. I miss you already.

[UPDATE -- 12-21-10 The latest news is that the coroner report came in and Kate died of an aneurism (sp?). The cats were apparently hiding and finally came out last night. While still intensely tragic, I am very relieved to know it wasn't worse. Thanks for all the kind words.]


  1. Sorry for your loss.. That is an incredibly hard story to read. I hope she found some peace at the end. The fact that the cats were not there makes me believe she chose to depart the world on her own terms. I hope you can find some solace in the good memories you both shared.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear this story Ivey, my condolences for what they are worth.

  3. Oh my...words always seem so inadequate in situations like these.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

  4. Desperately sorry for this loss Ivey. You chose each other as friends and she'll leave a painful void. You must be hurting so much honey.

  5. So sorry for your loss.
    You'll be in my thoughts.
    Sending some love your way.

  6. So sorry, sweetie! Horrible new. Hugs and good thoughts to you.

  7. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Condolences to you.

  8. It is so difficult to lose anyone... I too lost a very close friends a few years back, and every day I ponder that loss... If possible, try to focus on the good that came from your friendship, and honor her by trying to uphold the things that she held dear... I send my condolences on your loss.