We not only lose a friend when they pass away, we lose the characters too. I’m extremely saddened by the passing of Sue Grafton. I recently finished “Y is for Yesterday” and dragged it out as long as I could knowing it would be a year before the final letter of the alphabet would be released and in my hands. Yes, I know I’m not Sue Grafton’s family, and my heart is broken for all of them, however, I loved her too. I’m not looking for condolences. This blog is not about my loss, but about being a fan of Sue Grafton’s. I’m full of respect and condolences to her family and would hope they know this blog is out of love and respect for her. As a writer myself, it’s also my way of recognizing what goes along with losing such an amazing author. And as many of you know, writing is a way of healing my heart…this blog is no exception.
It is as if Kinsey Millone became a friend I checked in with every year to see what was going on in her life. What adventure was she ready to take me this time? What was Henry, her landlord, up to these days? Of course, every time Kinsey told me what Rosie was serving at her restaurant I realized our taste in food may differ, seriously differ, but I loved her visits with Rosie and her restaurant just the same. All of Kinsey’s friends, old boyfriends, ex-husbands, old work friends, and reconnection to her family all became a part of my life, along with all the people she worked for through her Private Investigation cases.
Sue Grafton may not have been a personal friend of mine, but, again, I loved her just the same. I felt like I knew her through her characters, because as an author myself (not of Sue’s caliber, of course) – I put all of me into my characters. Many are created out of someone I know, including myself, and others are created through my imagination, but soon become just as real to me. I am a part of my books, and so are those I create. My husband gets concerned (murdered a few men in my imagination), but trust me, I’ll keep him safe. If I am a part of my books, I don’t doubt Sue Grafton was as well…in fact, Kinsey is modeled after Sue…how could I not love Sue if I love Kinsey.
The truth of the matter is as a reader I never thought about losing a favorite author to cancer or any other life-threatening event. Years of being a dedicated fan now come with the reality of age…theirs and mine. None of us go on forever, even if we wish it with all our heart, so the inevitable is just that…inevitable.
So, on that note, I’ll bid my friend a loving farewell, along with all her wonderful characters.
R.I.P. Sue Grafton, you will truly be missed.