Requiem For a Friend

One of the unexpected delights of writing a blog has been the people I’ve come to know. The blogging community is pretty tight, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know a handful of people over the years, some of whom I have had the pleasure to meet. It’s the kind of community where even if you fall off the wagon and stop writing for a while, you still have that connection because you continue to read their posts. So it was an absolute shock when I learned that a member my blogging family recently passed away.

I never actually met or spoke with Kim Johnson, but I enjoyed following her blog, which was called Tripped Over a Stone. Reading her stuff was a treat. Kim was funny, pointed, and as a fellow sufferer of a neurological condition, we had a lot in common. We would often trade notes and thoughts on Word Press and Facebook Messenger, and I considered her a friend. It was a sad day when she announced she was selling everything and was hitting the road with a lifelong friend to live the RV lifestyle and travel across the country. But I was happy for her because she deserved the opportunity to enjoy something she had wanted to do, even if it meant that she would no longer grace us with her candor and wit. 

Kim made the move in 2020 during the teeth of the pandemic. As I was prone to do during this time, I became consumed by what was going on and forgot all about her. I stopped checking her Facebook page, and completely lost touch. I was so out of touch that when another blogging friend notified me of her passing, I actually said “do I know her?” It wasn’t until she mentioned the blog that the light bulb went off and I felt like an idiot.

“Oh, that Kim!” I mumbled feebly, feeling my face flush.

Kim was funny, smart, vibrant, adventurous, courageous, and told it like it was. She was a talented writer and an educated woman, having earned degrees in Criminal Justice and Social Work, so you know her heart was good. She was a force to be reckoned with and had a light inside her that you could feel. I am sure we would have hit it off had we ever met in person. 

I flipped through her FB page once I heard the news, saw that Kim was having the time of her life on the road, and was saddened to have missed all that. I was also saddened that this happened to someone who had to deal with the constant pain of fibromyalgia but didn’t let that define or control her. Instead she forged ahead and lived the life she wanted, which is admirable. We should all be so fortunate.

But then she developed a cancerous tumor and had that removed, only to develop severe pneumonia within a month, which is what she succumbed to. She was 55. Life just isn’t fair.

Farwell Kim! I enjoyed knowing you, miss reading your posts and feel your loss. I’m embarrassed to have lost touch with you so easily. But the fact that I feel as bummed as I do illustrates you make an impact on me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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