Ten minutes before class started last night, I ran to the adjunct workroom to print off some reading for my students. While it was churning out of the copier, I checked my work email and saw an email from the Dean of my department entitled “Carson Earp.” Carson hasn’t been to class in three weeks, so I supposed this was a note to say he was dropping.
Carson passed away last Thursday. He was 22. I don’t know any details, and I missed the funeral – it was yesterday morning – but I was floored by the passing of this young man. I don’t think I will ever become immune to the shock of finding out a young person has died before their time.
I don’t know a lot about Carson, but here’s what I do know:
He was tall and handsome, and had a friendly smile and a smooth Southern drawl. The first week of class, he came in late, a bit timid, and sat on the back row. The next week, he moved closer, up to the third row, and stayed there until a few weeks ago, when he stopped coming. He smiled alot, liked Citizen Kane, thought Jules and Jim sucked (everybody does).
He was born in 1987 – the same year as my baby sister – and had two sisters of his own. Sisters who, right now, must be missing him like crazy. To those sisters, Emily and Dani, I extend my deepest sympathy. And to God, I lift a prayer that You’ll wrap your arms tightly around Carson’s family and give them the strength to make it through today, and every day to come.