My dear friend, Tiina, died last night.

I don’t really know how to express how heartbroken I am.

It’s always tragic when someone dies, especially someone so young. But Tiina was special. Anyone who knew her, loved her. It was impossible not to.  Her death is truly a loss for the world.

I met Tiina in 2007 when I moved to Victoria to work for the bank. I knew a few people in town, but not many. I was lonely, not enjoying my job, and so far away from people I needed.  Tiina saved me.

She was exuberant. She could light up any room with her passion for life.  She laughed a lot and called people “pal”.

I’ve never known anyone to love their family as much as Tiina did. She was truly devoted. It says a lot about her parents that they raised a child so full of love.

My favourite memories of Tiina:

The first time we actually talked, sitting in the break room at lunch, she told me “I just knew we’d be friends”. And we were. We just clicked, despite having almost nothing in common.

Riding the ferry at 7am. I had to go early, but she could have gone later. She didn’t want me to have to take the bus.

Shopping for Spiderman water shoes in Zellers. Tiina wore those shoes on the beach in Mexico and I love her for it.

Sitting in her lobby taking distorted web cam pictures on her new computer.

If you knew Tiina, or just really like cats, you can make a donation to the Victoria SPCA in her honour. The goal is to get a cat room named for her.  Man, she would have really liked the idea of a “Karen Tiina Williams ” cat room.


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