The first thing I saw on my phone this morning was a notification that someone had tagged Athena in a post — and I read the post. It started by saying how shocked they were by the news … … …

My first thought was that maybe this was some sort of Halloween joke. From what I knew of Athena, she had a quirky sense of humor so I didn’t think it would be too out of the box that this was some sort of practical joke.

However, when I went to her Facebook page, it was clear that it was not a joke. No. There was nothing funny about this at all. My eyes were glued to my screen as I read notification after notification of friends and family members leaving condolences messages — all shocked and devastated.

Athena’s and my paths crossed through being ambassadors for the Whole Life Challenge. In addition we had an extra connection since we both practiced jiu-jitsu. She was always funny, witty, kind, and caring — what a tragedy. What a senseless loss. I cannot even imagine what her young son and her family members are going through. There are no words to express how truly sorry I am.

Athena had mentioned her ex before — and how he was harassing her. However such an outcome was just so unexpected. I really am in such shock.

This past year seems to have been filled with tragedies. No longer is it generic problems happening somewhere else to someone else — it’s all happening in our immediate surroundings.

This sudden loss reminds me once again of how precious life is and how important it is to live in the now; to reach out now; to reconnect now. Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell people you love them or how much you care. The time is now.

Athena

RIP Athena

Links to news articles about Athena. Police are still investigating.

Oregon Live

The Register Guard