Stacy was not mine to lose, nor mine to mourn, but I do.
I never met her in person, and the truth is, after she shut down her blog, Jurgen Nation, I pretty much lost track of her.
And still, news of her death punched me in the gut. I know enough to realize that suicide always feels personal to me. But Stacy was someone who stuck with you. For a time, I felt like I knew her, and she was amazing.
When I started blogging, she was an established blogger, a breathtaking writer, and a gorgeous woman. And she was hilarious. I was nervous to comment on her blog. She got tons of comments. She spoke at BlogHer. She hung out, virtually and in person, with other famous bloggers.
She was a celebrity. Cool. Popular. Pretty. Witty.
And also real and raw. Damaged, and so frank about it. She offered herself up to all of us, emotionally naked.
I adored her. I admired her so. She inspired me.
We had a little correspondence. She was kind, so very kind.
And she had that little voice inside her head, the one my friend Michelle describes as saying, "Just quit."
Am I drawn to those with that voice? Those who struggle?
I think I am.
I think it's because these are people who burn brighter, who live and feel more intensely. Whose minds intrigue me. Whose emotions pull me.
She had a sparkle. She burned so brightly. And she was honest, painfully honest, about how she felt, about her traumas. About the urge to just quit.
And you could look at photos of her, and see how luminous she was. You could feel the brilliance in her writing, and think, how could someone that beautiful and amazing feel so bad?
But your own personal truth, as I know too well, eclipses everything.
As the years went by, I kept blogging, but was increasingly in my own world, as bloggers I knew and loved quit blogging. The DC blogger happy hours petered out. And frankly, even before that, I stopped having much time to go to happy hour or even keep up with many blogs.
But every once in a while, I would do a search for Jurgen Nation. I'd come up with stunning photos that Stacy took. But not the beloved JN posts.
And then yesterday, I saw Heather's post on Facebook, expressing her sadness at losing Stacy.
She didn't say how, but in my experience, when there is no how, the how is self-inflicted.
So I went searching on the Internet.
I found that amalah, who I used to read the minute her posts came out, had written about her. I'd have known before, but as I said, I just read blogs more sporadically now.
And I came across this exquisite post. What an achingly beautiful goodbye.
The just quit voice prevailed. The darkness won.
And the rest of us have all lost.