Sunday, October 27, 2013

To Joey Francisco's Life and Treasured Memory

On Friday, the day "Nightmare on Query Street" started, I heard the news that a writer friend passed away.

I'm reeling, I'm in shock, and I'm writing this almost as a diary entry because I don't know how to stop my thoughts.

I haven't seriously cried in about three or four years (seriously, no books, no movies, no nothing) but I think, today, I might. Tears are coming.

Joey, you are (are) such a wonderful friend, I only wish I could have been a better one. Everything you went through, you handled it with such strength and joy and optimism, I can't comprehend it. You are an amazing mother, a loving one who fought to no end for your son and family.

What cruelty took you from this world? How can I describe how it feels to lose a loved one when, now that it has happened, I feel nothing at all? But the emotions are coming and it hurts, it hurts so badly. My throat burns. I'm shaking.

I remember your Southern voice, so peppy and springy, on the phone right before I boarded a plane to go to London this summer. I talked in one of those airport bookstores with you, I don't think I told you that. I miss you more than I can say. You have (have) so much to give to this world.

It was all so sudden and so unexpected. I wish I would have contacted you more and not when, as I later found out, it was too late. I should have sent something during those months of no interaction, and I just want to hear your voice again, hear you talk about your Evil Little Manuscript.

The reality is starting to sink in, that you're gone, and it's hard to handle.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend, an incredible supporter, and a burning light to everyone who knew you. You fought and won against things most people would collapse upon; if only the end wasn't so unexpected, if you knew it might be coming, because you'd have fought it and you'd have won.

Here is Joey's obituary, and here is her guest book. To her family, I extend my utmost condolences and thoughts. A person I never met in reality affected me this much; I can't imagine how hard she, who was with you constantly, imprinted onto your souls. She will live on through those she loved.

Here's some lines:

"And this is the comfort of the good, that the grave cannot hold them, and that they live as soon as they die. For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. Death, then, being the way and condition of life, we cannot love to live, if we cannot bear to die.

"They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle, the root and record of their friendship. If absence be not death, neither is theirs.

"Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.

"This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal."

 -- William Penn

And a song, which I can't listen to anymore without thinking of Joey. I feel it's the perfect song for us writers.

We won't let you die, Joey, nor your writing. Thank you so, so much, for being with us.


  1. I'm so sorry! Prayers for her family. Hope her book does really well when it's published.

  2. Be happy to know that Joey went out on top: she had a loving family, two jobs she loved, and had friends from around the country and around the world. She may have had her struggles but she dealt with them the best way possible. I hope I am able to say, at least, she didn't die with any regrets. Which is a great thing.

    R.I.P Joey.

  3. So sorry for your (and everyone's) loss.

  4. My deepest condolences, SC. I only spoke with Joey a time or two and she seemed like a really great person. I can't imagine what you're going through, but if there's anything I can do, I'm here for you buddy.

  5. Very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. It's hard to believe (looking at her photo) that someone so beautiful and vibrant is no longer with us.

    Take care xox

  6. Even now ... *deep breath* ... I wasn't thinking the other day, messaged her on Gmail ... followed by trying to call her. Dadgummit. (hugs) my friend ... we will never forget her ...

  7. Oh wow! :( I came over here because I was wondering what you were talking about in your NaNo post. I didn't know Joey died. I only got to see her a couple of times on AQC, and she seemed really sweet.

  8. SC, do you have an email that I could contact you with?

    1. Yes, definitely! It's SC_Author (at) yahoo (dot) com. I hope you see this, because I tried clicking your account link but I can't find any other place to contact you.

  9. Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.