“Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night”
– Michael Jackson, “Goon Too Soon”
I wouldn’t say I was close with Ashley, but we crossed paths now and then. We were friendly. Acquaintances. We hadn’t talked regularly in years, but I remembered her fondly. It seems like just yesterday that we were in college, chatting in class.
She knew I did freelance design and web work and always thought of me when potential clients popped up. She emailed me a little over a month ago and I never responded to her email. I got caught up in the minutiae of my life and I figured I’d get to it eventually. I never did.
I was out with my sister on Saturday and we were getting much needed massages. Feeling relaxed and refreshed, I got dressed and picked up my phone and a friend texted me, “Just heard the news about Ashley Gammon”. I responded, “Wait, what???” But I already knew what that meant. When you get texts like that, you know it’s something tragic.
I can’t pretend to understand the grief her family or close friends are going through. We may not have kept in touch regularly, but Ashley’s death shook me to my core. I can’t stop thinking about it.
30 year olds aren’t supposed to die.
Especially those as beautiful, vibrant and successful as Ashley was. She still had so much life to live.
Sometimes it takes death to remind us that life is a finite gift. Make time for those who are important to you. Make an impact in the time you have, because you never know when this ride will end. Judging from the outpouring of memories and remarks on her Facebook page alone, Ashley did just that.