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While I Was Obsessing About Things That Don’t Matter, Amy Died

While I was obsessing about things that don’t matter, Amy died. Initial reports say she fell in the bathroom. Hit her head. Passed away.

I discovered this on Sunday night, hours after her memorial service had already ended. I’d just put the kids to bed and finally picked up my phone and clicked on Facebook. I was scrolling through my feed when I began seeing posts from people talking about Amy like she had died or something.

“No way Amy died,” I thought. “NO WAY. Too pretty, too sweet, too young. 

“We had plans.” 

We had plans. 

But, Amy had died. DIED. And I didn’t even get to go to her service, because I’ve been obsessing about things that don’t matter.

Amy — such a great name for a Gen-X girl — was born in 1966. She loved Generation X, and was one of the first fans of this blog.

At times, it seems she was the only fan.

Amy was Generation X. 1966-2018.

Exuberantly generous with compliments, they often arrived in the awkward stillness that every blogger endures after sharing a link to a post on social media. Her affirmations cut through the uncomfortable, virtual pause and paved the way for online, group interaction.

Amy was so sweet and genuine. She loved me, and she made me believe in myself. A little bit, anyway.

Hell. Amy has died.


Last night, I made chili for dinner. People should not eat chili in July. It’s totally stupid and wrong, and what was I thinking? As I salted my helping, I started to cry. Right there at the dinner table. Right there into my chili.

“All these people keep dying on the floor,” I said. “They all died alone on the floor.”

And, then I looked down at my chili and whispered to myself, “Am I gonna die on the floor?”


After my mother died, my daughter Juliette told me a story. She said when she found her that morning motionless on the floor, she became completely disoriented. It’s no good seeing a dead person. It’s much, much harder when it’s someone you love, and harder still if you’re not expecting it. In that tragic moment, my precious daughter turned to run out of the apartment she had shared with my mother for six months. Shocked by the discovery she’d made, she ran in the wrong direction and hit hard against a wall and bounced off of it.

There are always walls stopping us. Always floors catching us.


Amy and I had plans.

About a year ago, she came to Mass with us and she took Communion. We had such a wonderful time that day!

Five weeks ago, she left a note on the Facebook post below. She said she wanted to come with us again, and I just knew it was going to happen. I knew it needed to happen. But, I’ve been so drained with nothing left to give, and I kept forgetting, and now she’s gone.

AMY: So sweet….I need to build up the courage to go sit with your family at mass again. 💜

ME: That would be great. ❤

AMY: which time do you go? And you don’t mind if some crazy neighbor lady sits with your sweet family?

ME: 11 a.m. Please come! We would love to sit with you. ❤


Why is it so hard to live in the spirit and not the flesh? To resign from all the dry, bony obligations — the hooey-phooey-poppycock-bunk-drivel baloney — that drives and orders our numbered days? What will it take to run the race set out for us? Not the race to the prize, but the race to love? The race that might have carried me to Amy, arms open wide, embracing, saying,

Yes! Yes! We must go to Mass. Not next Sunday, but today. We must take Holy Communion right now. Let’s partake in the suffering of Christ together this very instant. Let’s say the Rosary together and pray 10,000 Novenas for all the secret miracles we need. For life, it is hard and time, it is short, and who knows what tomorrow might bring?

Alas, life is too ordered, too sterile, too composed for that. If we love madly and wildly, wholly and completely, if we love like Jesus loved, we’ll be far too perplexing for this world. Even too perplexing for its princes in varying shades of darkness.

And, so it is. We’re wired to hold back, not realizing this path to survival is actually a vortex that sucks us down and strips away our meaning and purpose. Makes a mockery of our one little life.


Amy did not expect me to run to her. It wasn’t like that. She wasn’t desperate. I was the desperate one; a friend on the fringe. So, on Sunday, when her real friends gathered to celebrate her life, I wasn’t there. I didn’t even know she was gone. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love her. I did.

I did.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Denny

    Jennifer. Thank you for writing this. I was a long time boyfriend of Amy and still spoke to her frequently on the phone I miss hher sweet voice tremendously. And her laugh, and her understanding of who I am and her love of me despite my flaws and failings. She was easily the kindest person I know. I’ve carried in my wallet now for 16 years, a small price of paper with a note from her that says “Am I the one you were sent to save?” Yje letters are halfway faded but you can tell it’s her writing. It’s among the handful of things I will have forever. I also heard of her service too late to make it from California. It is a huge regret. Much love to you and thank you for writing this.

    Denny Alexander

    • Jennifer

      She talked to me about you. She loved you, Denny. She loves you, still. I miss her a lot and I have regrets. God sent someone sweet and wonderful into my life and I was too busy nursing superficial wounds to embrace her. Maybe we could have all saved each other. I hope you are doing well in California. I have offered up a prayer for you this morning. I know Amy is at peace. I felt it after she died – her confirmation over how cruel this world is. Much love, jennifer

  2. Sue Bridges

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you for stopping by, Sue. God bless you.

  3. Marilyn Bridges

    Hello Jennifer,

    Thank you so much for the lovely commentary on my daughter Amy. I remember her speaking about going to Mass with a friend some time ago and I encouraged her to keep going but there were just too many issues going on in her life. You are correct in that we all spend far too much time worrying and obsessing about thing that are meaningless in the whole scheme to things. I am so sorry you missed the service. It was just beautiful and just what Amy would have wanted. My best to you and your family.


    • Jennifer

      Mrs. Bridges – I was so sad to learn of the passing of Amy. She talked to me on three occasions about attending Mass. She was so happy to take communion. Amy was always such an encouragement to me. I will miss her and never, ever forget her. God bless you.

  4. David Vance

    Thank you for writing this, Jennifer. I am Amy’s brother David. This really touched me and I am happy Amy touched your life. She was a wonderful and kind person and will be missed deeply.

    So sorry you were unable to make her service. Know it was not a somber event. Sure we cried. But, we also laughed and shared stories and listened to Amy’s favorite music. Just as she would have wanted.

    Afterwards we took Amy out for one last drink at Guyutes. More laughter more sharing and lots of love.

    Thank you again for sharing your story.


    • Jennifer

      Hello, David. She was so kind. I’ve allowed her death to teach me an important lesson. Truly, seize the day. You were so awesome, Amy. I won’t forget you.

  5. Felicia

    Loved this, Jennifer. Your words are always beautiful and full of meaning!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, friend. I’m so glad we met so long ago. I hope to see you again. Maybe I can make it to Caney Homecoming this year.

  6. Rebecca Nelson

    Life can be so cruel. Loss is hard. I’m sorry, sister.

    Our beautiful mother died. Her absence is felt every day. But, with her death God returned to me the most precious, wonderful gift.



    • Jennifer

      I feel the same way, Beck. In the end, she got her way. I know she’s smiling down with that amazing smile she had. I miss her more, not less, with each passing day.

  7. Paulette Black

    Beautiful tribute, Jen. Wonderful you shared Mass with her.!That was a blessing & sacred memory with which you were gifted.

  8. Marie at the Lazy W

    Always floors to catch us, walls to stop us. Beautiful. I keep thinking of the scripture describing the waves of the ocean, this far and no farther.
    I’m so sorry you have lost you friend, and sorry for the shock and timing, too. She sounds really lovely.
    Please know I’m still one of your “tens” of readers, ok? xoxo Keep writing. Much love to you.


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