Saturday, August 24, 2013

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Stevenson, 1985-2013

When I got word of Elizabeth's death via Facebook and decided to go to the Saturday mass, I didn't have any idea of who she was. But as a long-time member of the NorCal cosplay community, I wanted to pay my respects for someone who has fallen.

I showed up about 9:50am. I asked some of her friends if they needed help getting a memorial collage, and as I was helping I saw photos of her cosplaying as Vash and Wesker.

I said to myself "Oh boy, things just got a lot harder."

It's interesting to note that it will be one year since Harrison Randell died and I spoke at his memorial service at last ever SacAnime at the Radisson. I draw comparisons between the two because, like Harrison, you knew when she had entered the convention with that "can't miss" personality and energy. Deep down inside her had own personal demons that ultimately got to her, but you didn't know that based on what you saw at the convention. And like Harrison, she made the convention go.

I don't have any personal memories of being around her or interacting with her, but in all my years of covering SacAnime, FanimeCon, and Anime Expo, there are few who stand out because of their enthusiasm and their talents; she was one of them. I'm saddened that I don't even have one photo of her, and I've been through all of the relevant albums at least twice.

The world doesn't stop for cosplay, but we can stop cosplay for the world or at least sort of stop cosplay for the world; friends and family encouraged us to cosplay to the mass. On the heels of SacAnime Summer, we gathered on that Saturday morning to reflect and celebrate the life of Elizabeth. And since a lot of people were at Japan Expo and did not catch wind of today's mass, they are working with SacAnime to hold some sort of memorial service for her next week.

In closing, Elizabeth will be dearly missed across the cosplay community and by her friends & family. I also saw was a community that banded together to help those who are in need. Yes, it had to be under these circumstances but when the horn calls we can assemble at a moment's notice to do what is needed.

May she rest in peace.

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