Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Death at 22.

A beautiful summer day doesn't quite seem fitting for a post about a young woman dying, but it is what it is. I heard of Marina Keegan's story from a friend's tumblr and can't help but share. The article from which Beca draws her quote is titled, "How to Feel When an Impossibly Promising 22-Year-Old Passes Away."  Yeesh.

I have also linked to that article—and I encourage you to read it if it isn't old news to you already—but what I took away from it actually came from an op-ed written by the 22-year-old herself, just days before her premature passing:
"Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us."
This is, naturally, something that a recent college grad could immediately relate to, and I did. What left me with a dropped jaw was a statement she makes a few paragraphs later:
"We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time." Without knowing the incredible un-truth of her syntactically emphasized declaration,  she continues,
"There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have."
So there you go. Morbid post of the day. My prayers are with Marina's family, and for all of the graduates she so eloquently writes to in her piece. Life is beautiful—as this summer day so effectively taught me—but it is also precious. Now get off your computer and go live it.


  1. :) When I read her editorial it totally motivated me to start doing my post-bac work and stop worrying about being too behind the curve to try to get into med school again. It's unfortunate that she had to go so soon.
    So thoughtful!

    1. Glad it served as motivation-- I'll keep ya to it!

  2. Hi, Thanks for helping Elaine help Granny so much... There's a fellow whose name is Andrew Ethridge. He is 21-y-o. He is a preacher's and his wife's son in Atlanta that goes to his dad's Church with our Landlord. He has a brain tumor. He is SOooooo positive! One of the happiest, sound-in-his-faith guys I've ever come across. I've never met him. He is on a website called Caring Bridge.
    The site title is Andrew Ethridge and the site name is andrewethridge. He was in Texas for treatment for a good while, is home now, and goes back again soon. Please pass this on so that his prayer family will continue to grow.
    Thank you for passing on the inspiring letter from Marina Keegan. This coming school year looks more than possible now.
    Love, Aunt Susie