Remembering Bridget Zinn, Luminous Soul


Bridget at our Friday Night Meet and Greet, Portland Kidlit  Con 2008

I am still reeling from the phone call I received Wednesday evening about Bridget, “Cancer Warrior Extraordinaire.” My 91 one year old aunt is dying and that’s the shoe I have been expecting to drop and the phone call I was supposed to be getting, NOT one about Bridget. I am not sure I have the words to express what a privilege it’s been to have Bridget be a part of my life.

I met Bridget in 2008 at the Kidlit Con Blogging Conference in Portland.  Our connection was immediate, both being librarians.  I remember her vivacious personality.  It was she that suggested the Kidlit Drink Nights on the Fifth Friday of any given month.

Bridget is front row, second from the left.

Just six months later, Bridget received shocking news: Stage  IV colon cancer.  Bridget arrived on the fifth floor of Legacy Emanuel Hospital which happened to be my RN nurse daughter’s floor so I knew she was in good hands.  I let my daughter know of Bridget”s passing and she remembered Bridget and Barrett’s hospital wedding. She said they all talk about the wedding still.   That’s when Bridget became a “cancer ninja” to kick cancer to the curb.  The Portland community rallied and held both a silent auction and an auction at one of our “Fifth Fridays” raising over $16,000 for Bridget and Barrett.

At the Lucky Lab Pub Auction, June 2009.

One thing that I loved about Bridget was her sense of fun and her declaration of “birthday week.”  The Portland Kidlit community spent a Fifth Friday together to kick off her birthday week in 2009 and 2010.


Birthday, 2009 with tiramasu cake.

I was fortunate enough to spend an evening with Bridget, Barrett, and her father among others in March at Moonpie Pizza.  It was such a lovely evening filled  with laughter and light.

I am haunted by the fact that Bridget emailed me in early May about her decision to stop chemotherapy and a request to  “somehow focus all of this good energy people have been sending me.” My asthma flared up and I didn’t answer the email all the while pondering the request.  So Wednesday’s phone call was so unexpected and so just wrong.

Bridget has been one of the most luminous persons in my life.  Her light will continue to shine through out the universe.  She so understood this energy force of life.  I will miss her terribly.  I look forward to her book being published.

Here’s a lovely tribute from Upstart Crow Literary.

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7 Responses to Remembering Bridget Zinn, Luminous Soul

  1. Lisa Nowak says:

    I know you and Chuck had a special place in your heart for Bridget. Though she touched everyone who met her with her wonderful energy, I know she was particularly special to you.

  2. I only knew her through the auction you all organized and through this auction I made some new friends, I can thank Bridget for those friends. I am aching for all who knew her well and will miss her daily presence in your lives…….Liz said it best “Cancer sucks.”

  3. Jane says:

    Thanks for all you’ve done, including this post with photos, but especially the auctions. I keep wondering why someone so young, talented, and filled with positive energy. I don’t recall that Bridget ever asked why, though.
    So sad. I’m sorry for your loss and the loss to the entire writing community.

  4. Dear Jone, I knew we could count on you for exactly the right word–luminous. Not just bright in her character and outlook but fierce in her determination to fight cancer and write novels AT THE SAME TIME. I can’t even write a novel and sweep my kitchen, apparently. There is thunder and lightning and cold rain on my tree house as I write this so I’m going inside to light a candle in honor of our shining girl. Thank you for your beautiful tribute!

  5. Kelly says:

    The only way I knew Bridget was through you, and I was amazed each time you talked of her. This is a blow, like being punched repeatedly in the stomach with an iron fist. Your focus of good energy for Bridget inspired and continues to inspire me now – keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. I’m sending hugs your way.

  6. Amy Baskin says:

    Beautiful post, Jone- thank you. How long do we have to know someone in order to love her? Not long. Not long at all.

  7. annie says:

    So, so sorry, Jone. She was so young. There was so much life. She is lost far too soon.

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