Friday, October 1, 2010
Megan Kehew Baroni: Warrior Extraordinaire
There is a funeral in Boston today for a young woman I never met, and yet I grieve. In fact my first online family is reeling, and so I thought it made sense to post a tribute.
The Newest Mrs. Weasley
Most of you know my entry into writing seriously came at the doors of fan fiction, but before fan fiction ever occurred to me, there was the Wizard War thread at HPANA. I joined and began making friends before the release of Half Blood Prince, and we theorized and debated the way things would go, tore through every hint that was dropped (chapter titles, news of an impending death).
In the fervor that followed the release, into the thread came an outgoing young woman calling herself The Newest Mrs. Weasley, and claiming she was newly married to RAB. Now those of you who are Potter obsessed may remember the hint dropped in Half Blood Prince that RAB had taken something pretty significant from one ‘Dark Lord’ so Megan was an instant hit.
We heard about her sailing, her travels (often hysterically funny stories about her travels—the one to the left was in DC with her sister—giving a thumbs up to Sandra Day O’Connor), her sisters. We heard complaints about movie-makers mucking up the flow of traffic in front of where she lived (damn Tom Cruise!), and the adventures of her and the fabulous RAB…
On Wednesday, my friend Joris noticed strange Facebook feed on her page and went searching for information. He found an obituary. ‘Sudden illness’ was an unsatisfying answer for a 30 year old woman, so Rissa dug a little deeper and found a note that said she’d had an aneurism Sunday. They tried to do surgery, but the swelling around the brain stem meant chances were very poor. She died on Monday.
My Wizard Warriors
For me the overwhelming sensation is shock. I just talked to her—I’m sure it hasn’t been more than a week or two since we shared the same Facebook conversation… it is approaching the season where she pulls out her Tweed and I start itching and preaching the superiority of nudity to her… we’ve had the argument annually for five years (fall was her favorite because she got to get out her tweed).
[I can’t even imagine what her family, and the wonderful RAB must be going through. My heart goes out to them. I hope they know there is a lot of love for Megan among her geeky Potter friends.]
I went to send emails Wednesday afternoon, to make sure there were as few un-notified Wizard Warriors as possible… and there she was in my address book. Just no words. How are there no words?
We all came together through our Potter-love, but I think we all got so close for two reasons… we laughed together, and we supported each other. This fantastic and varied group of people holds each other up, so what I am recommending for my Wizard Warrior peeps is a weekend long wake. Let’s head into our thread and remember Megan and support each other.