A Different Kind of ‘Power of the Pen’


I learned today that a woman I wrote an article about earlier this year died over the weekend. She was only 39. The reality hit me that the biographical profile I wrote about her very well could be the last thing wrote about her before her obituary. That’s not something you think about when you write about someone, yet the responsibility is there whether you acknowledge it or not. The words I “penned” are “now part of a living legacy for her,” so wrote another colleague in an email I received about the death.

In my newspaper years, I wrote many pieces that really were the last things ever written about someone, from obituaries to life story features. But this is different because when I last talked with or emailed Beth it was with excitement about the things she was doing and her future plans.

I re-read the article today and I believe the piece captures her well, and even knowing what I know now I wouldn’t change a word. She was a pleasure to interview and to write about, and I’m truly glad I had the opportunity to capture her excitment for astronomy and share it with others so that even now, after death, others can be inspired to do great things.

In memory of Beth.

Sharing the Stars

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