Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009

Title: 2367

June 2009


Title: 2367

June 24, 2009
12:01 AM

I can already tell this is going to be hard to write, and I’m fairly certain I’m going to be rambling and a little discombobulated, but I need to get this out. It’s important.

This morning at about 10 AM, we found out that our friend, Beth Kizere, had died of the H1N1 flu virus. She was 24.

I still can’t really come to grips with it. Last weekend, Liz had found out that Beth was at the hospital getting looked at for Pneumonia. (which is what they thought she had at the time) We wished her well, but really didn’t think it would be a big deal. I mean, I’ve had pneumonia. It wasn’t really a big thing. I got sick, got some antibiotics, stayed home for a few weeks, and then was right as rain. That was the last we’d heard. Then this morning Liz got a call from a mutual friend telling us that Beth had passed. Just like that. No warning, no “come to the hospital”. Apparently, some time during the week, she’d slipped into a coma, and though it looked like she was getting better around friday/saturday, she crashed real hard on sunday and was pronounced brain dead. They took her off life support this morning at 9:30.

I’ve been through the ringer today dealing with all sorts of different emotions and thoughts. It’s almost disassociated and unreal right now. I spent about an hour and a half crying my eyes out, I spent some time being furious at the Wal-Mart clinic for telling her to just go home and get some bedrest, I spent some time feeling guilty that I hadn’t been there to see her, but mostly, I just feel like I’ve been robbed. We’ve only known Beth for a hair over four months, and we were getting to be really good friends. She was one of the happiest people I knew. It’s not fair. Not fair that her life should end at twenty-four, not fair that we don’t get to spend any more time with her, not fair that we barely got to know her. I know life’s not fair. I know that. I pride myself on being reasonable and logical about the bumps life throws me, but that goes out the window when something like this happens. It’s just not fair.

That said, I’ve had time today to try and deal with this. It’s going to be a while before I really come to terms with it and can think about it without tearing up, but what matters most to me, I think, is sharing a bit of who Beth was. It’ll make me feel a little better, and that’s kind of the point here, I guess.

We met Beth at AOD this year, back in mid-February. She was a Real Life reader, and she came and chatted with us at our booth for a while. (It was really slow, and she and Mason were being excellent company.) It came out that she actually lived in the Sacramento area too, so we exchanged contact info and made a point to hang out a bit. Life got in the way a tad, as it has had a tendency to do since we’ve been back in Sacramento, but we managed to get together for drinks and dinner a few times over the last month, and the one thing that could be said about her is that no matter how shitty life was, she was smiling and happy despite it all. When we went out for Margaritas at Ernesto’s, we discovered that she’d literally just lost her job THAT DAY. You wouldn’t have known it to look at her, ’cause she not only had her happy face on, but she really meant it. She took it in stride – at least, that’s what we saw. Not long after, we got together and went to this absolute DIVE bar over off of Fulton Ave., but it was close to her place and she said it was usually pretty cool. It’s not the kind of place I’d usually hang out, but Beth enjoyed it, and it was infectious. We had a good time, regardless of the incredibly loud, very, very terrible music they were playing. That night was the last time I’d had a chance to see her. We had a late, late dinner at Denny’s, talked for hours, and then went home. That was a few weeks ago.

I feel cheated that I only really had a few months to know her, but such is life. We got the pleasure of her company for as long as we could, and now we just have those few memories left to remind us of who she was. Beth, you will be missed more than you know.

If you’re local to the Sacramento Area, a number of her friends and family are holding a car wash to raise the funds for her funeral expenses. If you can go, please do – it’s this Saturday (6/27) at 9am at the Twin Oaks Avenue Church (7690 Twin Oaks Avenue) in Citrus Heights, CA. I’m also told there is a memorial fund that has been set up at the American River Bank in Sacramento… if you can help the family in any way, please do so.

This has been really hard for me to process, and I don’t think I’m going to be okay any time soon. I do appreciate the support you’ve all shown me, and before Beth was our friend, she had been reading my stupid little comic since high school. You’re the best people anyone could hope to have as an audience, and if you want to e-mail me about this, that’d be fine. (I may not respond, but I do read every e-mail I get.) But really, it would mean far, far more to me if you just called up a friend today and spent some time with them. Don’t let your life get so busy you don’t get to hang out with the people you care about. It may sound cliche, but you never know when you’re not going to have that opportunity again.

On a fairly related note, this is one of those instances where I could really, really use some guest comics. :( I’m not really in the frame of mind needed for cartooning, and I’d kind of like to take some time to just process for a bit. So though I know it’s short notice, it would mean a lot if you guys could help me out this week. Just make sure the comic is no wider than 530 px (height is no object – go wild) and send it on in. Remember to put your website or other form of credits on there, too – it helps me out to have the comic, but you deserve the recognition for your work. I know there’s only 3 days left in the week, but I just don’t think I’m up to facing it right now. :( Thanks, guys. I really do appreciate the support you’ve given me throughout the years. More than you can know.

Gah. I’m just rambling now. I’ll leave off here.