Monday, March 30, 2009

R.I.P. Chelsea Chittenden Beavers

I was pregnant, tired, completely war torn and waiting tables as a second job; saving money for the eventual birth of my son. Chelsea was young, beautiful, and people were drawn to her like she had magnets in her heart. She came to work at the restaurant with her dear friend. They did everything together, and they both enjoyed confiding in me during our shifts after they'd been on some adventure together.

I was years their senior, and I think, they felt that anything they did, could never be as bad as some of my stories, and I never judged, so they told me another, and another. She never knew it, but she saved her best friend's job many times, as she ran circles around nearly everyone at work. They kept the lesser skilled, lesser dedicated friend around knowing full well that if she left, Chelsea would likely leave too.

She was dedicated, hard working, fun and beautiful.

One day, her best friend disappeared and I saw a different side of the bubbling, happy, beautiful blonde haired girl. Chelsea cried standing in the well as we both waited for drinks. She recounted their last conversation, their last argument, her friend not answering her phone.

She was shattered. Heartbroken. Alone.

Eventually, she'd pick up the pieces, make new friends, and I never heard what happened to the friend. After T was born the updates from Chelsea weren't as frequent. I'd still see her and ask to sit in her section whenever I went to that restaurant, but the day to day stories fell by the way side.

We both grew, moved on. But that same smile, charisma, charm; those caring questions, they never left.

And today, when I came to work, and made my way through my Monday morning email and Facebook rituals, I learned that Chelsea died. Since I'd last seen her, she'd gone from blonde to brunette, fallen in love, gotten married and was carrying her first child. A blood clot in her brain took her silently, and robbed her husband and her family in a quick instant of so many of their dreams.

She was due to have her first baby in October.

There are really no words to describe how unfair this is. How heartbroken her husband, family and closest girlfriends friends have to be for having lost this tiny bundle of energetic love; their first child, grandchild, her stalwart devotion. I also sit here with little else on my mind but the intrinsic knowledge that people do not recover from this type of loss.

They do not move on. They survive, maybe. But they are never, ever the same. They are not unlike anyone who came in this bright woman's shining path.

Forever changed. Forever better.
And yet...



  1. I am so sorry. I saw the obit in the paper and wondered what happened to someone so young. What a tragedy.

  2. This is heartbreaking on so many levels. So sorry for the loss of your friend.

  3. Oh this breaks my heart. I am so sorry.

  4. wow...went to high school with her older sister but I knew her. I later moved away to a different town different school. Just 20 minutes ago as I was catching up with an old friend I asked about chelsea. He said he'd heard that she passed away. I googled her name and found this. Same shining, happy face I remember. So terribly sad. She was a great person and I know she will be greatly missed.

  5. Your words of my sister are very kind, and explain her to a tee. I thank you for writting this, and remembering my sister as the wonderful she was.

    Much love,

  6. I went to school with Chelsey til moved from Missouri, we had many classes together, she was a friend that no one could replace. I was looking through am old scrap book of mine and found some pictures she drew for me in our 5th grade art class, I also found some notes we passed back in forth in class. I lost all contact with her when she moved but she never left my heart or thoughts. I don't think she ever knew how much of an inspiration she was to me, she was there when no one else was. My thoughts and prayers are with her family daily.