She graduated Yale days ago, and now she’s gone

I recently attended the Yale University commencement exercises for the class of 2012, which included a young man I adore. The beaming families and friends of the graduating seniors didn’t let the torrential rain dampen a single spirit. Their kids would be leaving New Haven, CT, with diplomas from one of the country’s most respected institutions. Many already had jobs or were going on to graduate programs. Their futures held nothing but promise.

Giant screens at the outdoor Yale commencement showed the joyous seniors.

Now one of the graduates, a beautiful young woman named Marina,  is dead. The car her boyfriend was driving last weekend hit a guardrail and rolled over twice. Marina died at the scene and her boyfriend, also a recent Yale graduate, was uninjured.

Marina, a wonderful writer, was planning to move to Brooklyn with a group of friends and start a coveted job as an editorial assistant at the iconic New Yorker magazine.

Her parents, who were celebrating their daughter’s accomplishments days ago, have suffered a loss greater than any of us can fathom. We will never have the privilege to read Marina’s prose. Her boyfriend will undoubtedly never be the same. All their lives have been inexorably altered.

Talented, caring, beautiful Marina and her parents on Yale Graduation Day

Why was this young woman taken from the world at such a pivotal moment in her life? Marina’s parents were quoted as saying she was a brilliant light for everyone around her. “She was an amazing, wise soul that was given to us as a gift,” her mother said. One of her professors called her “wise beyond  measure.”

I am deeply sad for Marina’s parents, two brothers, boyfriend, and for all those who lives Marina touched. I hope their faith is strong and will help them through this horrible time.

We are constantly reminded of the fragility of life. The thought is sometimes so unsettling that the only thing we can do is force it from our minds and forge ahead.





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9 Responses to “She graduated Yale days ago, and now she’s gone”

  1. Frank Clarivu says:

    A really moving piece Geri. My thoughts are with the family and friends, I can’t imagine how they are coping xxx

    • Geri says:

      Hi Frank,

      I can’t imagine, either. From what I’ve read about her parents, they seem to be incredible people.


  2. Lisa says:

    Oh my god how terrible. My thoughts go out to her family, and to the sorrow in their loss.

  3. Linda Hill says:

    I also lost a son who was about to start his senior year at Yale 8 years ago. Life has never been the same. He was also killed in a car accident. He played basketball there and was so loved by everybody. When I saw this my heart broke for these people because the rest of their life will be so sad. I struggled for years to pay for Yale and private high school. If you want to see him he is still on the Yale basketball site. Josh Hill.

    • Geri says:

      I am so sorry, Linda. It hurt my heart reading your comment. I read some of the comments from Josh’s friends and classmates on the Yale Daily News site. He was obviously a wonderful young man and his face looked so kind.


  4. Deb says:

    I read this story a few days after my daughters graduation. I was still all excited after all the awards, parties and satisfaction of a job well done. Her graduation was on what would have been my fathers birthday. My Father has been gone a yr and a half and I still cry everyday. I can’t even imagine her friends and family ever being able to get over such pain. I pray they are able to find support from each other. I was reminded that angels walk among us. God never tells us who they are, when they arrive or when he will take them away from us. It’s unfortunately just another reminder to show love to those we care about every minute of every day. You never know when one might be leaving for the last time.

  5. Donna Washburn says:

    I am friends with Marina’s aunt, and can relate after losing my 24 year old nephew a few years ago. Their deaths leave such a gaping hole in the heart – an ache that will never go away, but will lessen with time. They will be forever young in our minds and I am so glad that Marina’s words have made a journey around the world. Small consolation, but she will be remembered in her words and hopefully inspire other young girls to complete her work!

  6. Blue Bear says:

    I read this story last week and it broke my heart to even imagine how her family feels right now. So much joy followed by the ultimate sorrow! In my high school, the homecoming queen and king were killed by a drunk driver after the homecoming dance. It was a devastating blow and I’ve been reminded ever since that being young doesn’t give you a pass from death. Our children laugh when you tell them this. They all believe they will live forever but we, the FOF, know better.

    • Geri says:

      Blue Bear,

      your comment is touching and so right!



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