Monday, July 12, 2010

The Loss of a New Friend.

I am absolutely devastated.

Not even a month ago, I met fellow blogger and designer, Marija Stephens of Holding Court, at a store opening in Chicago. She was such a delight, and I will forever remember her sweet personality. But the word "sweet" doesn't begin to do Marija justice. She had a sincerity about her that far too many people lack. An enthusiastic joy for living. Marija and her husband were so happy, and they made everyone around them happy. I learned so much about her in one evening, and since then, she and I had been emailing, making plans to meet up again soon. I felt lucky this talented, inspiring, brilliant woman wanted to be my friend.

I referred to her as "an insta-friend" as she was a kindred spirit who only comes around every so often in life. She was radiant. Everyone around her loved her. And now she is gone. In a blog post today, her wonderful husband Cory informed her readers and fans that Marija was killed in a car accident over the weekend.

It's a weird world we are apart of - this blogland. We meet people online, become great friends with a few, and are lucky enough to meet some in person. We share common interests, life experiences, intimate details of our daily happenings. We introduce one another to our homes, our friends, our personalities. We help one another. Laugh with one another. Inspire one another. I cannot tell you how many times I've uttered the phrases, "Oh, I saw this on a blog...," "a blogger I know," "have you seen the post ___ did?" You've all become such an important part of my life, in a way no one can understand unless they are a part of this odd, online community.

I only met Marija once, but I feel like I've lost a best friend. She was one of us.

Words cannot describe how heartbroken I am.

My thoughts go out to Cory, who lost his best friend and life partner.
To their beautiful children, who lost their talented, loving mother.
To her family and friends, who lost a funny, compassionate friend.
To her fans who will no longer read the perfectly strewn together words that Marija gifted to us every week.

And for everyone who was ever lucky enough to have known the lovely Marija. Even for a brief time.

Marija, you will be sincerely missed.


  1. oh my oh my, what a tragedy, I remember your post about Marija and I remember thinking how gorgeous she was... so so sorry...

  2. I'm sure we're all shocked by this, and incredibly saddened for her family and friends.

    I got excited every time she had a new post. Her blog was unique and she intertwined her personal life with her passion for design in a way that no one else does, and I think that's why we all feel like we know her, even if we haven't met her in person. I had plans to meet up with her in Chicago when I visit my brother in a few months. I'm so sorry I won't be able to. My heart goes out to her family.

  3. oh alaina, this is soooo devastating, and i never had the pleasure to know marija. the tribute cory has written to his beloved wife is absolutely beautiful, as is your own right here. it looks like the world has lost someone very special, that makes me so sad. take care. x

  4. So heartbreaking. Glad that you were able to meet her in person. Praying for her family.

  5. How terrible to hear.... it's nice that her kids can see her blog and remember her that way.... thoughts go out to her family & friends...

  6. I found out about this last night from a phone call and I was in such shock I almost did not know what to say. Thank you for such beautiful words for a beautiful person inside and out. She will be missed by so many and it goes to show you how many lives we can touch and how important it is to be our authentic selves , as Marija did. This tribute to her is so beautiful. Even thought I have not been to your blog before and I am sad this is what now brings me here. I am so glad I was able to read this beautiful tribute, Kathysue

  7. So beautifully written, thank for sharing your time and friendship with us. It is truly remarkable how connected we all have become in our community. The support is unending which makes a tragedy even more devastating. She was an amazing person and supportive blogger. My thoughts are with her family but also those like you who met and have lost an "insta friend"

  8. Thank you for this. Eddie and I were at this party with the two of you, and she looked so beautiful. You're so right, too, that Marija was a kindred spirit who comes around in Life only every so often. Our hearts ache especially for Cory, the kids and her close family and friends. She will be so missed.

    Jaithan and Eddie

  9. I am heartbroken. I remember last week how much you said you enjoyed meeting her.. I can't believe this happened. I've been thinking about it all day :(
    So very very sad and tragic.

  10. Oh my goodness! So sorry to hear of your loss of a friend :(
    I have never read or followed her blog...but clicked on the link & read her Husband's post...and was in tears!!! My HEART goes out to him & their 2 children! I feel absolutely shattered that they are going through this massive tragedy!
    Some things in this world just don't make sense :(

  11. I was so shocked to just read this on your blog & when I jumped over to hers and read her his post...on her blog (and below) was one she wrote. Tears streamed down my eyes as I thought of how short life really is.

    It's so sad....and I feel so terribly sorry for her family.
    This past Sunday when my husband and i were in church our pastor said " to live is Christ, to die is gain".

    She is now home with God and that is gain.
    We are on earth for such a short time and you are lucky to have met her . :)

  12. It is beyond cruel to see such a happy, loving and life-embracing person being ripped from her family so early.
    Marija was my friend. We never met, but we grew closer and closer over emails. I wrote to her only last night having received a nice long email from her last week.
    My heart skipped when I saw 'Holding Court' pop up in my mailbox this morning, little did I know it would bring such devastating news.

    I have been to church today and lit candles for Marija, Cory, Nigel, Olivija and Mary. They will all be in my prayers and I will carry Marija in my heart.
    She was a rare and wonderful person and like you I am so glad to have been her friend.

    x Charlotta

  13. Alaina, what a wonderful tribute you wrote to Marija. Yesterday when I found out about her passing away, I couldn't avoid being extremely sad and crying, such a talented person who is now gone. very very sad, your post is a beautiful gesture.

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to Marija is touching and heartfelt.

  15. Dear Alaina,
    I am so sorry for your loss of such a beautiful friend. Try to find comfort in knowing that you had the chance to meet her and know her at least for a little while. Such a kind spirit never really leaves - remember that. Love, Mom

  16. Oh my goodness, that is tragic! But so sweet of her husband to share the news with her blogging friends.

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends...

  17. I don't know what to say, but am deeply sorry for your pain.

  18. I just found out about Marija through tribute posts of her passing on other blogs. I looked at her blog and have read many tributes to her, I can understand why she is so missed by so many!! I wish I would've discovered her blog earlier!!

  19. I just got back from a 2 week vacation and was catching up on your (and many other) blog posts and saw this.

    Absolutely heartbreaking. I read Cory's post and was filled with sadness, tears, and also inspiration for what a deep love and connection that they shared and what a lovely, talented, authentic, and strong person that she was.

  20. I am so sorry for your reduction. Your honor to Marija is holding and genuine.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin