Just received word that Kelly Goldberg, aka dgkgoldberg, has lost her battle with cancer.
I had feared the worst, in recent weeks, but the news is still a kick in the gut.
Folk, please join me in raising a glass of something pink and alcoholic to the dearest, most entertaining, most wicked-minded Southern redneck Jew to ever come down the pike.
She did not go gentle into that good night.
We miss you, kel. We miss you something fierce already.
I'm not good at these. I hate saying after the fact what I all too often didn't get a chance to say in person. But here goes everything...
I first met Kelly through mutual friends, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and you could still smoke cigarettes in the U.S. without being arrested. The fact that she died of cancer is not, sadly, a surprise -- nor is the fact that she fought that cancer with every ounce of strength in her body, and every strand of her considerable wit and humor.
Knowing that we would lose her sooner rather than later (the diagnosis was late, and grim) has not cushioned the blow any. I'm trying to remember her as she was -- sprawled on the floor or on a bed in some convention hotel room party, eyes wicked with some inner glee, laughing her ass off at something she had just said or ranting about the way stupid people kept trying to run roughshod over the world...
Kel made no apologies, and took no prisoners. She was a maverick -- she knew the 'right' way to do things, and almost always took the interesting-looking path, instead. If she'd been more conservative, she would have had a more lucrative career, perhaps, both as therapist and as writer. But she was true to herself, and her intense curiosity, down to the end.
And for that, and for so many other reasons, she's one of my heroes. And why I will miss her so damn much.
photo from the Stoker Awards 2003, taken at too-close range by table-mate Ellen Datlow