I met Erica Herd, who blogged on Open as "Erica K.", at the big, lovely meet-up in Manhattan in 2012. I was impressed by how kind she was - and how impeccably coiffed.
Those of you who read her at Open, and/or who followed her to her Word Press blog, Suburban Hobo, probably know about her warmth and compelling writing. Some of you may have attended performances of Alzheimer's Blues, a play she co-wrote with her husband, and in which she starred, about her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's.
Sadly, with the passage of time, as well as Open's dissolution, Erica is one of the people I'd more or less lost touch with. Recently, though, I received an email from Richard (aka Cranky), telling me that she'd lost her husband in a car accident en route to their new home in Savannah (they were moving from New Jersey).
The news was shocking and terrible, and I reached out to Erica immediately and got a shattered email back. Yesterday, Erica posted in clear, brutal detail, about what happened.
It turns out that, in addition to losing Lorin, her husband, she also lost four of her five beloved cats.
So much loss is unspeakable. It was like a punch in the stomach to read. I think OSer Matt Paust put it best in the comments there: "This just whacked the living hell out of me."
I know we're a tight community here, and that there could be people who read and were in touch with Erica back in the day - or even now - who didn't know about this. I asked Richard if he thought Erica would be all right with my sharing the news and the link to her post and he said he thought that would be fine. So that's why I'm here with this horrible news. I'm sorry to be sharing it, and sorry above all for Erica and her family.