Debutaunt 3

I was writing a comment on Debutaunt 2 when I remembered something really weird. My Twitter application on my BlackBerry always pulled up like 10 copies of one of Deb’s Direct Messages to me. I swear to you, I only saw one DM the entire time we DM’d if I checked my BlackBerry. Tonight… I don’t know how to explain this. But tonight there are a whole stack of DMs that I’ve never seen. A chill just went up my neck. I can’t post them here because my screenshot software won’t work for some reason on the Twitterberry application.

However, I looked up the DMs on my desktop and found them. I would like to paste some of them here so you can see how vivacious and wonderful she was, even when she was ill. I’m sorry – I know this isn’t the normal type of content you expect on my blog. But I’m still reeling and I guess this is how I process the shock and grief.


Oh my goodness. I miss her so much.

Debutante 2

I’m not able to leave this alone because my heart aches. I can not stop crying. These tears, these tears! They will not stop.

Sheila recently wrote about the birth of her niece, Lucy Anne. She said that Facebook and text pages kept her connected with her friends and extended family while they were waiting for Lucy’s big arrival. I am thinking of how real it all is. How technology connects us, and while it might not be the same as being face to face, it’s every bit as legitimate. You can fall in love with someone’s emails. Or blog posts. Or their pictures on Flickr. Our personalities shine through, and those are the important things.

I would not care to have five million readers a day because I wouldn’t have any kind of feel for the unique personalities of the people reading. But I know who reads my blog. I know my friends.

Deb was distinctive. She wasn’t just an email, she was a human being with loves and fears and a whole history of life, and she took a little bit of her precious, limited time, and allowed me to see some of that. It feels like an honor tonight, though I probably took it for granted as it was happening.

In my dark days, people tell me that I can not give up because life is precious. I scoff. I know that life is precious. I do not ever need to be reminded of that; I would wager that I recognize the full breadth of its preciousness more than most people. But nights like tonight, when one of my friends is permanently absent, that numinous sense of the beauty and wonder and preciousness feels painfully accessible, too close, too much.

Debby’s experience is unfortunately not unique. She has a nine-year old daughter who will be without her mom now. It’s so heartbreaking, it feels like too much to ever assimilate. Maybe having friends is a way for us to concentrate the overwhelming feelings of the numinous – a way for us to manage our knowledge of the wonder that exists. If it was spread over every person in the world, say, with every woman battling cancer who had a nine year old daughter, it would exhaust us. But if we are fortunate to find a few people we can gather around us and expend our energy on them, they become special to us, and maybe that is where we find our own value too – to know that we’re one of the few special people they’ve chosen to love during their brief time here.

I miss my friend Debby. I accept the hard gift of my new perspective from knowing her.


Tonight, a reader named Rachel left a comment on the famous Pink Rage post to inform us that our beloved friend, Debutante, has passed away.

Debby Greer-Costello lost her brave battle with leukemia after a second relapse.

I did not know her well. We exchanged some emails and Direct Messages on Twitter. I had a hard time believing she was sick because she was so passionate. She was mouthy and spirited. She hated the Susan Komen Foundation as much as I did. Of course, she was very ill, which is why she cared so much, I guess.

She was scared. She told me about the hair-raising state of American health care. She had children. She did not want to leave them.

If there is anything to be joyful about is that she insisted on being brave, mouthy self right until the end. She is such an inspiration and I am so very sorry that she will not be here to bitch about the Komen Foundation with us anymore.

My savage heart will miss her. My savage heart, see, recognizes it’s own kind.

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