I've never mentioned her before, but once, just a little while ago, I met a girl named Esther.
In these modern times we live in, "met" doesn't hold the same meaning it once did. We were never in the same room at the same time. (Actually, this isn't true. I think we were both in the same rooms at LeakyCon 2009, though I didn't know her then.) But Esther and I met on the internet. We were friends on YouTube. I'd comment on her videos. She was doing VEDA, only instead of "Vlog Every Day in April" it was "Vlog Every Day in AUGUST." And she didn't do every day, but she did most days.
Her last vlog ended with this wonderful moment where she looks at the camera and talks directly at you, and she tells you she loves you.
Esther died three days ago.
Esther died of cancer in the thyroid, a disease common to adults but very rare in children. And at sixteen, she was still very much a child.
I hate Time, and God, and the world, for killing her.
I knew her only a short while, and yet she was a giant.
She wasn't an angel or a saint. By no means perfect. But she was beautiful and funny and kind and nice. She'd reply to you even if she didn't know you. She'd give you a chance.
Once I talked about my life in terms of a "scrap heap of humanity." The idea that things that I misuse or abuse about my own existence might be better put to use in someone else's life. Well, I certainly would have given up 20 years off of the end of my own life, if only to keep Esther around for that much longer.
I tell myself that if David was right, if there is a "valley of the shadow of Death," that this is good news. For if something casts a shadow, that must mean there is light beyond it.
I am very drunk right now, and will continue getting drunker. Esther probably wouldn't have wanted that, but I'm doing it anyway, in her honor. A bottle of wine down, now I'm working on a cider, and I intend to finish another after that.
I'm sorry, Esther. I wish you could have my life. I wish you could still be alive.
I'm sorry, Esther.
I'm sorry you're gone.
You deserve so much more. So much more.