Thursday, December 13, 2012
This small story hopefully tells you a lot about Steffanie Ross. At 25, she worked with the mentally ill while saving money to go to graduate school to learn more about people with disabilities so that she could become an advocate. She did not wait for someone to fill the shoes she knew needed to be filled. She saw a need, and she addressed it.
On Monday, while Steffanie was delivering papers to one of her mentally ill patients, that patient stabbed her and left her in the street. Shortly thereafter, she died.
The problem with memorializing someone is that the writer almost can't help but gloss over the details that made that person "real." The memories you have of the deceased turn into Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul fodder. The result is a kind of untrue, saint-like story of what made a person human. Besides the grief, that's the reason I hate funerals. So I'll tell you a few other things about Steffanie too, and when I'm dead, I hope you do the same thing for me. She had a mutt-collecting addiction. She cried whenever she saw horses, and if we ever passed a horseback riding establishment, I'd have to listen to a 15 minute tirade about animal abuse, no matter how many times I'd heard the same speech before. One of her favorite pizzas was this pistachio pie I always found gross. She liked Fifty Shades of Grey for reasons none of us could understand, and she had a soft spot for curmudgeons like my friend David, her partner, whom she met on an internet dating site. She was constantly searching for a different story about how they met to tell people, but she could never come up with a convincing one.
I'm not sure why I've told you any of this, except that I want you to know there's a hole in the world now. That there are shoes to be filled that can't be.
Posted by Paro at 6:06 AM