Sometimes things happen that hit you hard, but due to their distance to you, you don't feel like you have a right to your pain.
That's what happened to me this week. My go-to author passed away unexpectedly and the moment I found out, I burst into tears. It doesn't matter that we were "Facebook friends" rather than the kind that talk in real life. It doesn't matter that I'm just one of thousands of fans who adored her and she wouldn't have been able to pick me out of a crowd. She talked to me online when I tagged her back when she wasn't slammed, and she was kind to me.
C.M. Owens was who I wanted to be when I grew out of being a baby author. I loved the way she wrote what she wanted, yet had a clear voice. I admired her ability to be there for her fans and manage of her group, yet keep her distance. I just admired her.
I didn't care what she wrote, I read it. I recommended her books to everyone, and when she stepped back, I sent her love and thought of her often.
I haven't been okay since I found out we lost her, and I feel unworthy of feeling this way when it's her family and friends with the right to cry for days. Fans like me, who just loved her books and promoted her books feel awkward describing the hurt, but that doesn't make it less real.
Not when her kindness and humor touched my life. Whether it was her jokes or stories that let us in a little or the dozen ways she made her fans feel special. I valued her sparkle of light more than she could ever know.
So, I don't think I'll be saying goodbye.
I'll have her books on reread. I'll keep the friends and groups I found because of her. I'll keep the parts of myself I found by being a C.M. Owens fan. Her influence on me has been deep, so even though I'm not part of her inner circle, she's part of mine. I'll hold onto that.
Her words had an impact.
Her worlds had an impact.
Her life had an impact.
And for that, I will be forever grateful.
Rest in peace, Christie.
Thank you for everything.