So, right off the bat, this is going to be a personal post. I hope none of you mind, and please feel free, my fellow writers, to delete it.
You may have heard that an American aid worker was killed in Iraq yesterday, along with three security contractors (two others were wounded, one in serious condition). Well, that was my organization, and I find myself becoming quite sad at random times during the day about their murder, and hers in particular. I didn't know her well - barely at all really - so there's no reason or perhaps even value in conveying my condolences to her family, if I could even find them. But she had come by the DC office in December, where we chatted about work-related things and more generally about her reasons for being and returning to Iraq, her feelings of being back in the U.S., her work and how fulfilling it was, and a few other topics.
So really, I barely knew her. Nevertheless, she left a wonderful impression, so much so that I commented to my girlfriend about her - that here was a beautiful, energetic young woman (barely older than me) who was returning to perhaps the most dangerous places in the world. How she is so much braver than I am in her dedication to what she believes in, with a richness of experience and vivacity that I envy and appreciate. And all this in just a couple short conversations with her. It saddens me that that's all there will be, and it frightens me to think how she must have felt at the end. It...reminds me to value all those brief interactions and relationships more, and I regret not having had this feeling earlier.
So, while I'm not allowed to tell her name or really anything of her background to anyone, she's in my thoughts and memories, brief and meaningful as they were.