Grief. It’s such a strange thing. Everything feels foggy and raw.

There are so many amazing things happening in my life – my book life and my every day life. And somehow today it all matters less – and  so much more – at the same time.

I lost a friend today.

A talented, beautiful, loving, funny (so funny), wonderful woman. She died too young and too soon and with so much left unfinished. She had a loving, wonderful husband, and a lot of hopes and dreams. And a book  – many books I'm sure –  her debut YA novel still in the publishing pipeline.

Bridget Zinn was an amazing person.

And she will be missed.

It was Bridget who brought me into my critique group – foisted me on them, actually, and luckily it was a good fit.  Without that group, I don’t think I would have finished my first novel so quickly, and it certainly wouldn’t have been nearly as good.

And yet, today I’m just grateful to have known her at all. To have become her friend.

She was a good person, excellent to talk writing and publishing and life with. Someone to laugh with. And celebrate with.  Share cake with and smile with.

My thoughts are with her husband Barrett, her family and other friends, and with anyone who ever crossed paths with her – because she was one of those people who made an impression. She was memorable, and she will be remembered.

I’ll honor her in so many ways. I’ll miss her no matter what I do. And I am sad.




5/26/11:  Reading others' posts and tributes is making me cry and smile and sometimes even laugh – to celebrate Bridget, and what she meant (and still means) to so many.

I'll post links to some of the other posts and tributes as they appear, like the beautiful post at the Upstart Crow blog by Bridget's agent, Michael Stearns, and this post by fellow writing group member, Georgia Beaverson.

And more… Steve Duin of wrote about The Legacy of Bridget Zinn.

Posts from authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, April Henry, John Green, Suzanne Young, and….so many more. Too many to list them all, though I will continue to add links as the inspiration strikes.

Bridget's Facebook page right now shows a glimpse of her impact on the world…she changed it for the better, by touching all of our lives.


5/30/11   There is now an In Memory of Bridget Zinn community page on Facebook, where people are posting stories and photos celebrating Bridget's life.




By E.M. Kokie

Author of young adult fiction, including PERSONAL EFFECTS (Candlewick, 2012) and RADICAL (Candlewick Press, Fall 2016). Often opinionated. Sometimes Sarcastic.

Comments (15)

  1. Doug May 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    What a wonderful tribute.

    I’m so sorry for your loss and that of Bridget’s family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  2. Tara May 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I’m so very sorry. I didn’t know Bridget, but I knew of her and how many lives she touched. I am very saddened by this news. After the last auction I had hoped her new treatment would be successful. My thoughts and condolences go out to you, her friends and family. What a terrible loss.

  3. Sarvenaz May 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about this, Emily. This is a lovely tribute but I wish you didn’t have to write it. 🙁

  4. Robin May 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Oh, Emily. This is so sad and I am sorry for your loss.

  5. Jamie May 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you for putting thoughts to words in memory of Bridget. She walked softly, but left deep impressions. I will miss her voice in this world.

  6. E.M. Kokie May 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you all. It’s been a sad day. And my thoughts are with *all* of Bridget’s family and friends, near and far.

    Bridget will be missed.

  7. Christy Evers May 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. Many ((((hugs)))) to you and her friends and family.

  8. Stephanie May 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    It’s so unbelievable.I’m so sorry for it.

  9. Brodi Ashton May 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I’m so sorry. I hate cancer. My love to you.

  10. Lizzie Foley May 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you and all of Bridget’s friends and family.

  11. Heather Anastasiu May 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. What a loss. My thoughts are with you and her family and friends.


  12. Lisa Schroeder May 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I’m sorry too – so many sad people today.

    The world is definitely less brighter today without her in it. She will be missed by many.

  13. Pingback: Legacy « Redeeming The Time

  14. Pingback: Some tributes to Bridget Zinn | Sara Ryan

  15. Jody Sparks June 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Very nice, Emily. I’m sorry you’re hurting right now and that you lost a friend.