The power of the written word is incomprehensible. The idea that while we may die our words will continue to live on.
Katie Kirby was a fellow sister, friend, companion and writer. Since June 2016, Katie wrote articles for Odyssey online. From open letters, to college freshmen, to why pledging at ACU is the best, Katie believed in the power of words and the power of her own voice. Her constant stride and everlasting love for the written word is something that all writers contain – but not all understand.
Writers share a bond in the midst of things going wrong in the world. Shakespeare wrote to express his idealistic thoughts and impressions of the hierarchy. Emily Dickinson wrote her darkest feelings and suicidal thoughts in hopes of one day achieving love and happiness. Jane Austen wrote about love and how difficult and heartbreaking it is to find. These writers, these visionaries, wrote their ideas and expressed thoughts that were pushed down by society. Today, their words are known around the world and are displayed everywhere. They have become legends.
On Sunday night, Katie entered that same realm.
Her words impacted not only her followers or friends, but thousands of students across campus. Her writing will live on – in this life and the next. As a fellow writer, I am honored to have read and be blessed by her works. As a fellow friend, I was honored to have laughed and get to know her on a more intimate level. As a sister, I was blessed to have her in club with me, beside me.
Anne Frank once said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” It is in these words, we can find ourselves. It is in these words, we can realize how great the power of a pen is; how great you feel when you write your inner thoughts, your inner desires, your inner secrets. Writers share a unique connection because we know what it feels like to have something to say and nothing to say at all. Katie was a writer and for that, she deserves to be remembered. Her words will never die nor fade away. Her words will remain the hearts and minds of many.
So, this is not goodbye nor is it hello again. Frankly, it’s a see you tomorrow. Her death has allowed us to realize that our lives are only for a matter of seconds. Our lives, no matter how busy, cannot replace the love and respect we should show one another. At a mere 20 years old, Katie understood that. Ask around and you will hear about the great memories Katie left on this Earth. And for those who never got a chance to meet her, I can assure you that she loved you too.
Thank you, Katie. Thank you for your words and your voice. Welcome to the writers club.