And so...the light brings with it even more incomprehensible tragedy and grief.
Yesterday evening, two of my oldest, dearest, and most treasured friends from Fresno -- Bryan and Cathy Lee -- unexpectedly lost their 21 year old daughter, Kassie, to a pulmonary embolism.
It is only natural to lionize and glorify a person upon their passing from this world -- to celebrate their character, contributions, achievements, and legacy -- even if that means remembering them in a light much rosier than they actually cast here during their life.
That is not so with Ms. Kassie Lee; she has made our job easy.
She was simply one of the most charming, sunny, dynamic, brilliant, ambitious, inspiring young women you could ever hope to meet. Her extraordinary parents imbued her with the very best of themselves (which, if you know these two amazing people, is REALLY saying something), and as a result, Kassie embodied, every single day of her life, what is best in all of us. Among her many achievements...in high school, she was a leader and shining star in the Rainbow Girls service organization, she had just graduated with honors last week from Fresno State with a BA in Mass Communications in Journalism/Advertising, and she also served as the delightful co-host of an awesome, progressive home improvement radio show along with her father, Bryan. The loss of this young woman, not only to her shattered family and friends, but to the entire world, is absolutely incalculable.
Kassie was a young woman who was doing EVERYTHING...and in the future, could have done ANYTHING. She touched more lives, achieved more dreams, did more good, inspired more people, and spread more joy in her short 21 years than most people four times her age do in their entire time on this planet. She was a uniquely amazing young woman -- and her absence here is a loss to us all.
All my love and prayers go out to you...Bryan, Cathy, Kaitlyn, Karson, and all the countless others who adored her, were changed by having known her, and will miss her...as you begin to deal with the unimaginable loss of your beautiful, brilliant, extraordinary, unforgettable, irreplaceable Kassie.
Kassandra Lee, 1988-2010.