A Tribute to Karissa

I didn’t know Karissa very well.

We traveled in over-lapping blogger circles – went to a few of the same events, even traveled on a press trip a few months ago together – but I wouldn’t exactly qualify us as friends. Still, our world is a very strange one — you’ll see people every few months, giggle and hug, have a few cocktails, spend 48 hours straight in each other’s company…and then quite possibly not speak to them again for a year, or ever again.

Are we insincere? I don’t think so. I can genuinely say there’s people I truly had an amazing time with, and then never crossed paths with again. I think we just live in a perpetual world of summer camp “girl-mance”, where we have a series of lost moments in time that then don’t geographically/logically translate into our real life mentality.

And then we let it be as so…until you are on another trip. With mutual friends, all met in the same way, and one girl says. “So, Aly, did you hear about Karissa?”

Apparently, just a few weeks ago — faced with job/life/money uncertainty – Karissa killed herself. She had been battling depression, and, as is often the case, people brushed off what she said and told her how her life was grand/fabulous/exciting.

And here we were, ex-post-facto, her alleged friends, and we found out, effectively, because one day she stopped tweeting. And Twitter is, after all, how we find meaning in all.

It’s so wonderful that we have all these ties to the virtual reality, but when it makes us lose track of the real reality, has the virtual gone too far? And did she get so tied up in the confusion and lack of tenability to the real world that she ultimately became lost, and felt as if she had nowhere to turn?

Karissa was a lot like a lot of us – she was a beauty blogger, she loved her dogs, and went through a few bad breakups and friend dramas – and she probably thought she had no one to turn to. And I think it’s hard not to read Karissa’s story, and be horrified that this is the fate for others of us – our friends, ourselves, that people will think we know they care – and that will be enough. It wasn’t enough for her.

So, try, today. Even if it’s tax time and you are broke, and you have no idea where your next pay check is coming to, to find something you are grateful for, and grasp on to it. And tell one person you love that you love them today. Don’t assume they know it, and don’t assume they don’t need to hear it. Because they probably do need to hear those words, and you probably do as well.


31 Responses to “A Tribute to Karissa”

  1. 1 Sarah L
    March 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Prissy Green (her blog name) was familiar to me. I enjoyed reading her comments and winning two prizes from her giveaways. I was shocked to read about her death.
    Yes, we need to make sure our friends know we care about them and are grateful for having them in our lives.

  2. 2 alyson
    March 31, 2010 at 3:06 pm


    I am thankful for each day. Also, I enjoy reading ALL your posts, so keep up the good work.

    It is a shame more people including myself don’t reach out to keep in touch.

  3. 3 Michelle O'Brien
    March 31, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve lost several people to suicide, and one just two years ago. It’s a hard thing to deal with, even if you only know them peripherely. So sorry to hear it.

  4. 4 Ravzie
    March 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I heard about this gal. It truly is sad when people feel so lost that this is the way they seek relief. I wish we could all reach out to each other more.

  5. March 31, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    OMG! I was hoping this was just a horrible internet rumor! I am so sorry to know it is true. Thanks for your post Aly, it is very important to let your friends and family know just how much you love and appreciate them!

  6. 6 Jill Hayes
    March 31, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I had several friends that were good friends with her and were shocked.

  7. 7 Erin Walsh
    March 31, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I didn’t know Karissa. But I was a big fan of her blog. And I was stunned when I found out. She was obviously smart and pretty and seemingly sweet, and funny and still so young. I would have thought she had the world at her feet.

    It just goes to show you that none of us should take things for granted, not for our own lives or the people around us that we care about. Miss you Prissy Green.

  8. April 1, 2010 at 2:52 am

    It was a shock to learn about Karissa. I enjoyed her passion for “green” living and loved reading her reviews.

  9. 9 Tarah
    April 1, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I’m so sorry to hear of her story – those are always so tragic. I will, I will let those I love know today that I love them. Thank you.

  10. 10 Julie
    April 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

    HI found you on twitter I follow and now subscribe Im @waterbluffy on twitter would really love to win ur pc . It would come in great use I travel alot to the hosp for my daughters treatments and she could do her home work on it and I could use it as well thanks so much for the chance to win one

  11. 11 Kerri R
    April 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

    never take a day for granted and always count youre blessings

  12. 12 S Carter
    April 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Suicide is so hard to deal with. It leaves so many people with feelings of guilt. Very sad for everyone involved.

  13. April 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

    how very sad…. 😦

    download romantic books at http://www.b10mediaworx.com

    blog @ moriahjovan.com

  14. 14 Mom
    April 1, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I love you, no matter where you are, what you are doing, I love you.

  15. 15 lilshuga2001
    April 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I lost my uncle to suicide – its devastating and everyone tried blaming themselves….

  16. 16 Em
    April 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

    It’s important to remember that we all struggle with something, no matter how much money, fame, or beauty we have. We are all loved in the eyes of God.
    Thank you for the reminder to tell those around you that you love them. I can attest how important this is. And not just to say it, but to do it…actively love the people in your life because tomorrow is never promised.

  17. April 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I remember reading about Karissa, and even though I didn’t know her well the pain expressed by her friends was palpable and my heart ached for them, and for her.

    It’s a shame that even though she touched hundreds of people, she felt so alone and out of options. I hope she’s at peace now.

  18. 18 Justine
    April 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Yes, I was very sad when I read about this! I do know how she feels but too bad no one could have helped her, it is the worst to think there were thousands of people interacting with her but not really, she still felt all alone. I thought of her dogs and how much they must be missing her!

  19. 19 Maggie M
    April 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I am thankful for having three health babies.

  20. 20 Saiyid Ma
    April 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    OMG, I’m so sorry to hear that. My prayers go out to her friends and family. There have been a rash of suicides at my university this year, and it has brought the community together.

  21. 21 Susan Smith
    April 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I have visited her blog many times and I’m sad to hear she is no longer with us. She sounds likes a wonderful person.

  22. April 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Sorry to hear about this! I didn’t know Karissa, or read her blog, but bloggers definitely have an online persona and being depressed usually doesn’t factor into it. If we take everything that’s posted at face value, it’s hard to tell if someone is in need of a hug or an ear. We should all be more aware of just how much of our relationships and lives play out online vs offline. It’s easy to get swept up in it. Thanks for writing this, Aly!

  23. 23 kathy pease
    April 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    i won some eco friendly bags from karissas blog and i think of her every week when i use those bags for grocery shopping it is really very strange because i never knew her just followed her blog but she is in my thoughts each week.as suicide has devastated our lives twice my brother also took his own life on this past oct 28th and my 18 year old daughter took hers 6 years ago feb 14 so i really really feel for karissas friends and family because you lose part of yourself and life will never be the same it is so very tragic.
    the second page on my daughters site has links to get help and support for depression it is most important to get your feelings out even if its to a stranger.


  24. April 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    So sorry to hear about her death. I need to be more mindful of those hurting around me.

  25. 25 steven lewis
    April 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I live in a building full of people whom seem to be “waiting to die” an “active senior” complex. I am one of the younger ones here an was apalled by the lack of activities that were scheduled. Many residents here seem to believe that once the office closes, we are to go back to our cubicles (apartment) for the rest of the night. I believe that with my urging and expressing my displeasure, that others are now doing things and the common areas are being used more. The office seems quite content, treating the seniors as “children”! I-myself, do-not like the attitude “did you check with the office”? I quit going to the “principal” before I left high school! We are rent-paying adults and if the activity director will not plan activities, then it is up to us to do so and clean-up on our own! Too many people spend too much time alone and no-one notices! My back ground in the mental health and public services field causes me to notice!

  26. 26 Saiyid Ma
    April 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I’m reminded of this piece by George Carlin, the comedian. It’s worth a read:


  27. 27 Saiyid Ma
    April 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    @Steven Lewis
    That’s awful to hear. I can’t imagine living in a place like that. A lack of social interaction can lead to depression and increases chances of age-related mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

  28. April 1, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I miss her everyday.


  29. April 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I found this post from Karissa’s dashboard since I am still moderating comments. And every now and then it’s nice to look at her posts, where she wrote them, spilled her heart and soul into her articles and reviews.I miss her and think of her every day. I know that wherever she is she is happy and finally at peace, smiling down on all of us and realizing how much she had to live for. All while waiting for us all to join her again some day to party! ((hugs)) Karissa..we love you!

  30. 30 Julie Cutshaw
    April 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I was one of the 5 winners of her marriott giveaway and she was so kind with her email updates to us about it and had sent her last email saying they were late from the sponser due to him being on vacation and that she was going on vacation for a few days and look forward to hearing from us winners later on where we went and to tell her all about it, then just days later I heard of the traggic outcome that happened and was so sadden. She sounded full of excitement to go on her trip and was such a kind person the few times we exchanged emails about that win. I guess its not for any of us to understand. I just know for a brief momnent in time I had met a very kind person.
    sewitupjulie at gmail dot com

  31. 31 Betty C
    April 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I always enjoyed reading her blog and when she announced she was taking some time off I didn’t think twice about it. I was so sad when I learned the news.

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