I did not know Jessica Redfield. But it is her involvement, and death, along with the other victims of last night’s shooting that ripples across my life and social universe in a deep and penetrating fashion. This event, unlike other horrible events within the last few years, really has wormed its way into me.
Jessica’s real last name is Ghawi. I feel that is as important in knowing. Jessica Ghawi puts a face here front and center. A true sharp sense of “all too soon” for what was a vibrant human being trying to make her mark in life. Especially in trying to make her way on the same very steps that I have been seeking over the years.
She was walking THOSE steps. She knew my friends and peers. Someone who was making a difference.
She had been going back and forth on twitter with Jesse Spector, a former NY Rangers beat writer, who now writes for the Sporting News. She was tweaking him for not being able to see the Dark Knight movie at midnight like she was. He was chirping back that maybe she should be in a different time zone.
Now she is gone. Just like that. Snatched away by someone who tore apart families and friends lives with full metal jackets past midnight.
Her twitter timeline is frozen. A social media monument to remind us all of all that life and now a glaring silence.
I have walked around today with Aurora, Colorado and Jessica, in my mind. I am troubled.
How does one come to grip with a depraved act and dilapidated soul who would find some warped sense of mission to come in with a smoke grenade and then start shooting randomly?
What twisted and warped brain have instructions for fingers to pull the trigger that would have reverberation across this country of ours?
Who could chose randomly to track and smear their own mottled existence over others like some mutant slug?
Jessica’s last blog, sadly, was her close call with a Toronto shooter just last month.
“I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away,” Ghawi wrote. “I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court.
Well, sadly, due to her own and many other senseless deaths, I cannot get an odd feeling out of my own chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away.
RIP Jessica. My words do no justice. Just trying to put to words my deep sorrow.
A fellow NHL writer: victim of the Colorado shootings, who’s haunting timeline on twitter and last blog that is tough to shake.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.