Unexpected Death

25 02 2008

I found out this morning that a co-worker, Dora MaGrath, who had gone on leave was found dead. She’d been missing since Thursday, and it was all over the news around St. Louis, as well as a number of blogs. She was 22. Though we weren’t close, we were friends. She was a very nice person.

Death is always very difficult to deal with. I don’t think anyone close to me has died since my friend’s father who was also my first D&D dungeonmaster. I have a number of reactions. One is to go away and forget about it, and make the person out to be someone who I used to know but won’t see again, but that’s okay. At other times, I feel like that’s just denial of emotion and humanity.

There have been a lot of deaths reported lately on blogs that I read, and it might be a product of the age of the writers, who are pushing fifty and older, but this is hitting me harder than I thought it would when I first heard.

Dora was my age. She was talented and creative. What chills me to the bone is that the circumstances surrounding her death are sketchy and lead one to believe it was a conscious decision on her part. She had a history of depression. No details are out, but I don’t think anyone expected this. It makes me think of all the wonderful, creative, and amazing people I know who have been in tough places.

Dora was truly a wonderful person, and this post is a toast to her memory, and a toast to the spirits of creative people everywhere.

Edit (02.28.08—00:32) There is an online obituary and guestbook for Dora.

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4 responses

27 02 2008
Cara

hi jacob,
i don’t know you, but i was in a music class with dora this past semester. i didn’t know her well either, but hearing about what happened still affected me a lot. she was a great person. i would like to join in your toast, and let you know that you aren’t alone. sometimes it’s hardest to get over the loss of people you didn’t ever get the chance to really meet.
-cara

27 02 2008
Jacob

Cara, thank you.

2 03 2008
Zaheer Kidvai

Thanks for this. I never met Dora but heard a lot about her from my daughter, Ragni, who shared the dorm and the house at Hampshire College. I have been affected very strongly by this, despite the fact that – getting to my age (I am 67) – I have had to deal with the deaths of many close friends and relatives. I have posted about her on my website.

Ragni and her friends have set up a website: Dora Magrath Remembered and would appreciate any memories and images that you may wish to share.

7 03 2008
Cathy

Are they totally sure it was a suicide?…did she leave a note?…just so strange …”where” she was found…She was such a lovely person….

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