ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Selinde's life.

Shared by Sery Gunawardena on May 6, 2021
Selinde was one of the first friends I ever had. I will always remember her as someone who inspired adventure and passion about the world around us.

Lindy always was her own person. I remember her fiery uniqueness throughout elementary and middle school. Her overalls, the trapeze in her room, her laugh, her humor. For one of her birthdays, we made sushi. I remember noticing and laughing with her about the genius of the "ribbon drawer" in her kitchen. Today, I have my own ribbon drawer and always think of her when I open it. For one Christmas, she gave me an ornament made out of one of these ribbons tied around a shell with a glitter-glued letter 'S' that my family hangs on our tree every year.

When we were in third grade, Lindy started a club around the World Wildlife Fund for Endangered Species. I remember going to the bank for the first time with Kate and a few of our friends to start a bank account for the club. The bank showed us a vault where money is kept, and I recall feeling this immense sense of responsibility and ability to make an impact on the world, all sparked by Selinde's passion at such a young age.

When I moved across the country for 5th grade, Selinde was one of my friends who made me feel less alone. She sent me countless letters I still have, in envelopes handmade out of pages from National Geographic magazines, or cartoons from the newspaper. In one letter, she described showing her rabbit, Mimi, at the fair and winning Champion in several categories (it was her "first year showing rabbits and [she] was very proud"). She circled some of the words of the letter and marked dots above the words so that I could solve it as a code. In a letter sent in middle school, she sent an origami panda she had made.

I'll never forget her love of Totoro, the beloved Studio Ghibli character. She had Totoro images and things around her room and showed us Ghibli movies when I visited her house. When I moved into my dorm my freshman year of college, I was so excited to tell her I got a Totoro poster to hang up in my room. She made me love and appreciate so many beautiful things I would never have heard about without her.

In college, I was lucky enough to get to see her again after 4 years apart. That year, we lived in dorms near each other and met up for a surreal night of adventure. I remember running towards each other, finally reuniting after so long. We walked down High street, stopping at a little pizza place and catching up about all that was going on in our lives. I remember listening, wide-eyed, as she told me about her experiences double (or triple?) riding on the electric Lime scooters around campus. She showed me her room and her college Totoro things. We visited a music store and a massive thrift shop, and I remember feeling like a young child again, like nothing had changed and I was with my friend again after so long.

I am so blessed to have been able to be your friend and see your light and passion up close, Lindy. Miss and love you so much.

What an Amazing Human Being

Shared by Bernhard Debatin on April 29, 2021
I remember Selinde coming to our house when she was maybe 12 years old, hanging out with my son Sam, with whom she developed a close friendship. They were playing hula hoop in the driveway and I was watching them in awe from our kitchen window. They had such intense fun with this and they were so completely absorbed in the moment. It was almost as if they had created a magic bubble together; a bubble that completely pulled them out of time and space, that allowed for pure being in the here and now.

At countless marching band events and at a number of other gatherings and visits, I had ample opportunity to appreciate Selinde's pleasant presence. I experienced her as an incredibly vibrant, smart, and intense person. She was kind, independent, and fearless; hungry for life and not taking any BS. She was unbelievably stoic with regard to pain, as we could witness when she had suffered a complicated leg fracture, resulting in a metal rod implant and a lengthy, painful healing process. She also was extremely funny and had a quick and contagious sense of humor, paired with joyful outbursts of laughter.

I so enjoyed talking to her. Sometimes, this would turn into serious conversations between two humans, at eye level and with sincere wholeheartedness. I had a couple of such conversations with her when she had broken her leg. In these situations, she had this inquisitive, wondering, and thoughtful look in her eyes: Genuine curiosity and an unusual enthusiasm about exploring something new or discussing a captivating topic. Occasionally also some amused mocking, a gentle reminder that in her opinion grown-ups like myself were strange creatures that had to be treated leniently.

And then she would leap back into just being a playful, hilarious teenager. At band camp and other band events, she was a central source of fun and of (always harmless) mischief. Her eyes would brightly sparkle in anticipation of the joy to come. And while she was crucial in co-creating friendship and group identity, she was completely unassuming and modest.

For years, I took pictures at band events and posted them on the band's facebook page. Selinde was one of the most interesting individuals to photograph because of her expressive face and her genuine, completely natural behavior. And she almost always smiled with her eyes. Over the years I took hundreds of pictures of her and almost all of them captured specific aspects of her rich and fun-loving personality.

Selinde has always had a special place in my heart. She was an amazing human being, radiating radical, thoroughgoing joy of life. Her star burnt bright and beautiful, as if she knew her life was short.

Selinde will always have a special place in my heart.
Shared by Molly Armstrong on April 10, 2021
If I had to choose a color to represent Selinde it would be orange. Fierce, jubilant, warm, and passionate. I remember going to Disneyland with the band and Selinde taught me a hand clapping game to pass the time in line for rides. By the end of the day we both had bruises on our thighs from playing the game so quickly and with so much energy. In health class in high school I remember eating an apple next to her and when I finished it, she asked for the apple core and promptly ate the whole thing but the stem. Lindy, every time I eat my apple core I think of you. You taught me how to dance to Cotton Eyed Joe while we were working the concession stand for a football game and I still picture your skirt swirling around you as we dance. I recently came across a poem that I think is very fitting and reminds me of you: “I like to pretend that you ran away/ that you’re living on an island/ and have a garden/ and a dog/ and that your brother drops by/ to bring you groceries/ and books/ and that you are very/ happy and free” (S.C. Pacheco). Lindy, in my mind you are forever running through the forest, finding creatures and climbing trees, and eating my apple core. 
Shared by Rory O’Malley on April 10, 2021
Selinde seemed to always be seeking adventure wherever she could find it, and I loved that about her. I remember at West Elementary we used to run together during cross country club after school, and there was one specific day - I remember it was painfully humid and the sun was relentless - when Selinde and I simply decided that just running wasn’t good enough for us. We ran along with the group to the West State ball fields but we peeled off there and dashed into the thicket beside the bike path. I think we stayed there for maybe an hour, looking at leaves and vines or jumping off fallen down trees and weaving little grass crowns. Selinde showed me various bugs she liked and I watched in wonder. When we returned, quite pleased with ourselves, we discovered that everyone was just about to go looking for us because we had taken so long! We giggled but we knew we’d probably do it again. I am so fond of this memory of Selinde because I can feel her heart and her spirit in it - she was such a compassionate, genuine, and creative soul and I wish I could capture that perfectly in words, but I fear this memory is the best I can do. Every moment I had the privilege to share with Selinde was charged with feeling and energy.Selinde - I miss your bright face and your rosy cheeks; your clever quips and your knowing smile. Thank you for never compromising who you are and for being an example of love to us all. 
Shared by Jace Williams on April 8, 2021
Selinde and Amy (a friend of hers in her class) used to draw pictures together and then they would give me the pictures. They were rookies in marching band with me when I was field commander. This may have seemed like something small, but at the time I was struggling with PTSD, severe depression, and anxiety. Those pictures were sometimes the difference between whether I went to bed safe from myself or not. It meant the world to me and still does. She was a light during some of my darkest times despite being younger than me. I wish she had known the huge impact it had. This world lost a hero. It brings me so much sorrow and my heart goes out to her friends and family.
Shared by Jay Ryan on April 7, 2021
 I’ve watched Selinde grow up for quite a few years now. No matter what was going on in my day, after just a couple of minutes of talking to her, I would be in a great mood. Her witty humor and constant faint smile will be greatly missed by many. I remember when she started playing the guitar in high school. I complimented her on how good she had gotten in a short time. She replied with her faint smile  “I’m just a student of YouTube is all”. She had a great ear for music and on a lucky occasion, I’d get to hear her do some fiddling too. I’ll miss hearing her play the guitar, hilling potatoes, pressing apples, and her being on the farm.Goodbye for now friend, neighbor and one of the sweetest souls I’ve known. 
Shared by ElizaBeth Clowes on April 2, 2021
At the same time it is impossible to grasp the loss of Selinde’s physical presence, reminders of her radiance, humor, and kindness come to mind with such incredible ease. She lived so fully, and taught me such valuable lessons without ever trying.

Ever since the summers of 2012 and 2013 in Maryland, in Lindy’s early teen years and my early twenties, her infectious, joyful spirit has left an everlasting mark on me. Not only was she more intelligent and talented than any kid I had met in my life, she was supremely quirky and wildly creative. At a moment’s notice she would go from sailing or swimming to tending animals to pulling unforgettable pranks--like the time she casually picked up and sniffed some ‘dog poop’ with her bare hands like it was flower, leaving a group of us with jaws agape, only to giggle and reveal moments later that it was a pseudo-turd made of peanut butter.

Even when surrounded by ambitious college students and grad students, Lindy was not afraid to challenge big egos, call out mispronunciations, or poke holes in weak arguments. She officially kicked me off the “Prolly Trolly” one summer after near-daily reminders. My habit of saying “prolly” would probably remain uncorrected to this day without her humorous guidance, and I still giggle and think of her each time I hear someone say it.

Some of my favorite times with Lindy were spent in the kitchen. At an age that her peers were mastering the microwave, Lindy was a chef-in-training. Together we made some masterpieces that ranged from elegant birthday cakes to psychedelic rainbow-swirled desserts to snacks made from marsh plants. Naturally Lindy provided song, dance, and poetry in the process, making the kitchen experience unforgettable and truly entertaining.

One day when the field crew returned for the day, Lindy formally invited all of us to the Scrambler Diner, a.k.a. the dining room table. Hostess Lindy gave each of us carefully handwritten menus, then we all ordered something from Server Lindy. A few minutes later, Chef Lindy served a table full of delicately plated wedges of bananas, tiny cherry slices, and other beautifully arranged treats that were accompanied by a detailed description of the preparation. It was a truly delightful experience, and it confirmed for me that Selinde was hands-down the most wonderful young person I had ever met as an adult.

Lindy, you are so loved and will be so dearly missed.

Lindy/Selinde

Shared by Cat Corbett on April 2, 2021
It is hard to open memories of Selinde without confronting the ocean of pain surrounding Kate, Willem and Dirk. There is not much I can say to relieve any of it except to say I love you and so deeply sympathize. It is a loss I can barely contemplate. Ironically, it is Lindy - with her zest for life, open heart, fey empathy, quirky humour and an incisive perspective beyond her years - who could comfort you best.

My last memory of Lindy was of sitting on the balcony of Kate’s hotel room with our children, taking in a sunset over Chincoteague Bay. As ever, I was struck by her beautiful contradictions. That I thought of them as ‘contradictions’ speaks only of my limited imagination. When she was young, she had a way of tucking her chin and looking up through her lashes that could seem shy if not for her piercingly direct gaze. She was kind and liked to please people yet she had a fiercely keen mind that prompted her to share her independent thoughts with confidence. Her gentleness could belie the passion of her beliefs. She was beautiful but lacked vanity. On the balcony, she appeared utterly content to experience the sky’s colours unfold yet she had that buzzy energy of someone prepared to dive into whatever adventure she was actively conjuring. A year or so earlier, we were bouncing in the wake of the family motorboat laughing and gripping a raft with failing muscles. For me, it was a thrilling, novel experience. Lindy likely had done it many times before, yet the smile on her face radiated pure joy. It made her happy to make others happy. She had a talent for having fun, heavily augmented by her formidable range of talents for moving through the world. I could never decide if she was Selinde of the Forest or of the Water but there was an easy familiarity with both that set her apart. I expected to see an animal, a bug, a turtle or something pulled from the Chesapeake in her arms or curious hands. It is that “otherness” that I treasure in her. One of my strongest images of Selinde was formed at the small cottage in Maryland that was the longtime base camp of Willem’s terrapin research. The grownups were lingering around the outside table enjoying the fading light on the Chesapeake, the conversation, the food and wine (that Kate enjoyed far less because of a stubborn ailment) and I happened to look beyond our gathering to the patch of woodland that separated the cottage from the farmland on the estate. Lindy was - what? Eight? Ten? It was her yellow summer. She favoured dresses then and a single braid that separated her face from her long blonde hair on one side. She and Dirk had the tawny glow of children who spend most of their waking hours outdoors but sunscreen had preserved their unmistakably rosy, cherubic childhood cheeks. Lindy and Lorraina, with some grudging participation from Dirk, earlier had provided us with a barely rehearsed entertainment (and charged admission, I believe). After dinner, the two older children were catching up on time missed with each other. And there was Selinde beneath the trees, half angel, half mischievous woodland sprite, moving with purpose toward an adventure of her making yet dancing as fireflies rose around her. 

The only solace is that Lindy packed 40 years in 20. It is with deep sorrow that we do not get to watch how (we know) she would make the most of what lies ahead.
Shared by Alyssa Suh on April 1, 2021
Selinde,


Teammate, mentor, and friend. Your contagious smile and constant laughter rings synonymously with your name– There isn’t a single memory in my recollection when we were not both on the ground cracking up to something stupid. 


I may not remember our exact first encounter but I’m betting it was swim. Thanks to you, swim meets became fun and tough practices felt bearable. Most importantly, we were able to break multiple school records and achieve new PRs while laughing through it all.


Outside of swim, you convinced me to sign up as your partner for Science Olympiad. For some reason, we chose astronomy. I, just a naïve little freshman, agreed despite having absolutely ZERO experience in nor knowledge about astronomy. But hey! That single day we got together to cram at Alden was all worth it when we placed 3rd… out of 3 teams. I don’t know about you but I’ve truly never felt more prouder in my life. Haha. 


Then there was that one time last spring… You, me, Lily, and Noah decided to meet up one Saturday to go on a 30 mile bike ride around town. Dressed in Carhartt and a layer of dust, you and Lily pulled up 15 minutes late blasting Irish music out of her truck. Eventually, the four of us made it all the way to Nelsonville. It wasn’t until the bit back when the brake cable on your century old bike finally gave in and snapped. In true Selinde-fashion, you biked all 17 miles back to the Ball-fields, brakeless bike and all.


Looking back, it is moments like these that never fail to put a smile to my face. Thanks for the memories and countless more. Love you Lindy, forever and always <3

Shared by Emersynn McGuire on March 29, 2021
Selinde, I will miss seeing your face around town and at my band's shows. Selinde and I got to know each other during my junior year, as we were in a few classes together. My favourite one was AP Biology with Mrs. McAfee, and she and I would goof off often in the class. She always was so kind to me; she complimented me on my hair or outfit, and ask me for advice for certain things. She always was so curious about many things and we would talk so much about everything. My favourite memory from high school to this day was when we all went to COSI for Biology and we were doing an experiment on measuring the heart rates of crickets. I was in a three person group -- me, Selinde, and another classmate of ours. Our classmate didn't want to do it because she didn't want to handle bugs and asked me to do it instead. While we were discussing who would be the one to pin the cricket, Selinde grabbed it from the cup on our table and did it in a flash. I burst out laughing, and all she said was, "That wasn't so hard, see?" 

She went to some of my band's shows in Athens, and I would always catch up with her afterwards. I was so excited whenever I saw her face in the crowd, because I really did just love her. 

 I am so grateful to have known her and to have called her a friend. Thank you, Selinde, for being so kind to me in some of my lowest moments. I will see you at universe rock, and I will miss you eternally. 

from Lisa Crockett via email

Shared by F K on March 29, 2021
I cannot comprehend how deep this loss goes.  Many times we think “words cannot express…..”   For Selinde’s death words are insufficient, yet perhaps go a little way toward the beginnings of expression for the deepest of loss possible - a daughter, a sister, a best friend.  Her departure from life is unfathomable.

 Selinde was the perfect model of how to live a life to its fullest.   

My earliest memory of Selinde was one that actually took place in April shortly before she was born.  We were all gathered at the wonderful baby shower that Kate was hosting for Kelly Johnson (and soon to be born Leah in May – I think on May 22).  Perhaps Selinde didn’t like the feeling of not being fully present for the celebration, so she pestered Kate to let her participate by forcing some early signs of labor on Kate.  Kate, you showed then, as always, such fortitude to continue (to host), even in the discomfort of contractions.

I think often about the highlights of “senior follies” at the Athens High School in the spring of 2018.  One of my fondest memories of Selinde (and the follies) was watching her play the trumpet.  Like with everything that Selinde did, she performed with poise and intensity.  Her spirit was on “full” that evening, like I suspect was the case for most of her waking hours.

I remember coming for a swim with Freddie to your pond one September afternoon.  (Selinde and Freddie were probably 6 or 7).  Selinde could out-swim (and out-cannon-ball) anyone close to her age and even some adults.  Sheer gusto, Selinde!!

I also remember seeing Selinde’s science fair contribution (middle school, I believe).  I don’t remember the details of it, but I do remember that Selinde had the knack for making every bit relevant.

How thoughtful that Selinde wanted to reconnect, celebrate, and share 18th birthdays with Leah and Freddie.  Something I will add about that glorious reunion was Selinde’s natural ability to interact with people.  She always had wisdom to add to a subject of conversation. 

So Special

Shared by Jan Spring on March 29, 2021
I first met Selinde during the parents’ night performance at marching band camp in 2015. I had just introduced myself to her Mom to discuss helping with band uniforms. She pointed out Selinde and her brother Dirk out on the field, marching their hearts out with the bandies for us parents in that brutal summer heat. 

Over the next four years I saw a lot of Selinde during Marching Band season. Always smiling and ready for a big hug she treated everyone with kindness. She often took the time to ask me how I was and many times offered to help me with whatever I was doing in the uniform room.  She ended up with an official title as a uniform helper whatever it was we called it. 

I marveled at her, I did. She was everything everyone has mentioned. So very beautiful without knowing it, so strong and yet vulnerable, capable and intelligent, bursting with energy and enthusiasm, yet quiet and introspective at times. I admired her individuality, secure in who she was and seemingly equally comfortable in a prom dress or her carhartts. 

I understand when some write that they have no words. There are no words to adequately describe the sorrow and grief of losing such a precious young woman. She had so many adventures and so many friends. So many people who loved her. She made me feel as though I was special to her and I see now that she had that effect on so many people. She had a heart as big as the great outdoors.

I will always carry a bit of Lindy in my heart and I am grateful that I knew her.



Shared by Sarah Kitson on March 28, 2021
When I went to Maryland for a few seasons of field work, I did not expect to meet someone like Lindy. That kid was a ball of unstoppable energy. She embodied curiosity, intelligence, tenacity, diligence, and growth. I got to know her when she was in her mid-late teens. She seemed to grow up so much during those years. The field crew always felt like family and Lindy was a huge part of that family. Many things remind me of my time in Maryland and Lindy is integral to so many of my fond memories. 

During my first summer, Lindy had just gotten home from a day full of swimming practice and sailing camp. Any other person would have been exhausted, but Lindy ran into the backyard and immediately started twirling in circles, inviting everyone in earshot to join her.
After many, many months of never wearing matching socks, we made a spur of the moment decision to go bowling. Lindy was wearing flip flops and had to borrow a pair of my socks. She was mortified that she was going to break her spree. After giving it some thought, she decided that if she wore one of the socks inside out, it wouldn't technically be matching the other. 
During my second year, some of the crew were collecting insects and Lindy ran into our room with a tiger beetle cupped in her hands. We told her that tiger beetles bite. Before she could finish saying, "no they don't," the tiger beetle bit her. She yelled and threw the tiger beetle in the air before bursting into laughter.
We spent a lot of time singing along to classic rock, and if you started singing "Sweet Caroline" you could always count on Lindy to join in for the "BAH BAH BAH."
When Lindy found out that Tim and I met in high school and were both in marching band, she expressed so much joy in the fact that "two band geeks" were getting married. She and Dirk signed our guest book picture frame at our wedding wishing us a "happy bandie marriage." It's hanging in our living room and I think of that conversation every time I see it.
These are only a few of the moments that I think of when I think of Lindy. She always brought a goofy sense of humor to any situation. I loved how talented she was with everything she did from athletics, to academics, to music, and cooking. Her kindness and compassion were beyond her years. Lindy shined so bright and I'm so lucky that I got to know her. 
Shared by Lily Herold on March 28, 2021
Selinde was truly a force to be reckoned with (in the best way possible), for she embraced life spunkily, vivaciously, fully. Yellow was her favorite color, and all my memories of her seem permeated by a warm, yellow glow. 

Some years ago, she sewed and gifted me a majestic, dark blue bathrobe, and I wear it whenever I’m lonely. She used to materialize unprompted in my driveway (in her manual car), bluegrass blaring, and we’d spin off to sit in local forests or recycling centers. Last July, we embarked on a 30 mile bike ride together, and her bike *literally fell apart* mid-ride. “Selinde, shall we stop biking?” I inquired. “NO WAY!!” she replied resolutely, peddling onward as she clutched crumbling handlebars. Later, we laughed around a campfire, and she mixed delectable kombucha drinks using ingredients I won’t name at this time. She could always make me smile. Once, my dog ate part of her favorite sneaker, and she decided it actually looked far more authentic with a huge chunk taken out of it — she laced up the bedraggled shoe and went on her way. On snow days during middle school, we’d trek to one another’s houses (in a vague sense, we were neighbors) and drag sleds to thewoods before setting up an obstacle course based loosely on the Calvin & Hobbes comics. When we felt our digits icing over, we’d retreat indoors for bowls of yeast-drenched popcorn. We’d laugh as we raided Noah’s blueberry supply, lament the miseries of high school as we cradled ducklings in my basement. No one gave hugs like Selinde — in her arms, I felt truly held and safe and loved.

The last time I saw Selinde over winter break, we ate cold soup in my kitchen afterdark and she told me she was exploring witchcraft as concept, because it seemed like 'the right move.' “Lily,” she said, "maybe your mom would know something about this, or that cool lady who works at the Farmcy?” I agreed they might have some intell, promised we’d figure out how to morph into witches this summer. Just last week, we were talking about the rager we’d throw for our twin April birthdays once we reunited, and she informed me she was ‘cruzin on a brap brap bike’ around the hills of Athens. It's beyond surreal to grasp that I’ll never hear her raucous laugh again, that she'll never lift me off my feet in an intimable Selinde-embrace. Thank you for gracing us with your beautifully fearless presence — I love you and miss you more than all the popcorn in the universe, ‘Yolanda’ <3 

Shared by Cara Sheets on March 28, 2021
Selinde, 

Running to you across the Dynasty parking lot after a few weeks of not seeing each other is a feeling I look back on fondly. I miss greeting you with a wide grin and too much to say. You were like a big sister to me in high school, and I felt so honored and cool that you wanted to spend time with me. You made me feel so special when you would make time to meet up over a plate of lo mein noodles once you had gone off to Ohio State. I remember asking you about your favorite green spaces on campus, knowing I would miss the trees and hills when I came here. Yesterday, I was sitting under a tree on the oval, thinking of you.

I am remembering so many things: the Gas House Gorilla's show at the barn, Prom, botching the national anthem when Denise asked us to sing it at swim meets right after we swam warm-ups, eating ungodly amounts of noodles with you from different cuisines, telling you I was going to join you up at OSU, singing in your car. 

One of my favorite memories of our time together was before I could drive. You often drove me from jazz band to swim practice, and we always had time to spare in between. It was some warm-ish Tuesday or Thursday in the winter. We went to The Ridges and walked around the Kennedy Museum of Art. Then we went to Fish N Stuff, and you wanted to teach me how to drive a stick-shift. Eventually, you decided against it, because I was 15 and the Fish N Stuff parking lot wouldn't be the best place to illegally teach a 15 year old how to drive a stick-shift. In my mind, that day exudes Selinde energy. Each next stop was spontaneous. It was fun, and it was very you. Spending time with you was always exciting because you never ceased to surprise me. I'd ask, "where are we going next?" And you would say something like, "Lowes, because I wanna slap some bags of mulch and look at plants." 

Next time I end up at Lowes, I will slap a bag of mulch and think of you. I love you, Lindy.

Selinde

Shared by Noah Fox on March 28, 2021
Every interaction between us was truly unique: I remember tiredly trekking down the stairs in my house after a nap to find her and Lily joyfully raiding my fridge, sitting by a gasoline-drenched campfire as she taught me how to play my favorite song on the guitar, and a drinking a funky kombucha with her on a warm June evening last Summer. She is that wonderful person you can talk to at the back of a group, enjoying a profound conversation rooted in kindness and understanding.
The recently before I heard of her passing, I had a dream based on one of our last conversations. We were talking about the most interesting collection of people we knew, and how one day we wanted to get in a car with them and embark on a 'journey.' We never specified where the car would go because it was more about the drive itself. In my dream, there wasn't a grand farewell -- she just kept journeying on in the car with everyone else. To me, Selinde radiated kindness and with it a palpable energy. She might not have made the classic joke (I thought she was really funny) but it did not matter, her random outpouring of positivity always made me smile regardless. Kindness never leaves a group on an adventure: we might not always feel it, but it's still there, and so is Selinde.

Shared by F K on March 28, 2021
Sometimes it seems that memorial superlatives are overused - but Selinde was a woman who owned superlatives.  She was the strongest, the most vivid, and always the screamingly passionate one - from todderhood on.

I first met Selinde when she was a few months old.  Her mother and I mutually decided that our elder children would benefit from kiddie gymnastics (they did!).  I, seven months pregnant, was startled to see infant Selinde firmly wedged between bleacher seats beside me, as Kate  blythely asked me to keep an eye on her while she aided Dirk's jumps.  A nervous almost-second-time Mom, I was taken aback.  But Selinde was just fine with this...........and that serenity in the face of the unexpected continued on for the ensuing two decades.

Selinde's family was a perennial source of our family's adventures.  Whether it was their brilliantly-crafted birthdays or Halloweens at their farm, or their astounding coastal research summers on the Maryland shoreline, our little family of rural Ohioans followed along, marveled, and learned. 

Among the tens of toothy smiles and wide eyes I see in those toddler, pre-teen and young teen photos, Selinde's was the one looking straight at the camera with the loudest laugh, the highest jump, the most contemplative expression - and the greatest interest and self-knowledge in the intensity of the moment.

You will be so missed, so remembered, and so eulogized, memorable Selinde. 

And to all of that, you would have offered such a vivid and knowing grin.

We loved you.  And we love you.  All the way through.
Shared by Beth Pratt on March 27, 2021
From the first day we met at kindergarten orientation, though I was in my thirties and you were five, you touched a special place in my heart. Many phrases come to mind: endless curiosity, fierce advocacy for yourself, your friends, and your causes, deep joy, boundless creativity, quick wit and intelligence, raucous laughter and flashing temper, amazing courage, eager adventurer.

You filled our home with energy and fun when you came over, and you were part of our family for those years. And your home and family felt like an extension of ours. 

So many memories: examining seeding plants during Mrs. Kerkian’s signs of fall field trip, stories from West Elementary recess of kittens and puppies followed by a brawl and a stint in the principal’s office, Grace’s declaration that you were her first choice for marriage, musical extravaganzas with multiple costume changes, swinging ponytails in the DC mall, serving as a Hogwarts professor for our Harry Potter party and dressing up as a dragon to give rides, playing spooky violin music in the woods, tubing on Chesapeake Bay, making candy, cookies, full dinners (with menus), disco balls, and wings, drinking sap directly out of a maple tree, running, screaming, laughing, crying, learning, growing.

It has been a few years since I’ve spent regular time with you, but somehow the world seems like a dimmer place. I’m grateful that you were part of my life.

Shared by Grace Allyse on March 27, 2021
Selinde was my first true best friend. She was hilarious, stubborn, impulsive, brave, adventurous, brutally honest, and an all-around terrifying and remarkable human being with enough gusto to single-handedly take on the world. She taught me how to hug your friends as tight as strength allowed and that it was equally okay to kiss them on the cheek as a greeting. She taught me how to braid with three pieces of party crepe paper (that we had licked beforehand because it tasted like salt). She taught me how to hang upside down on the monkey bars and on the trapeze in her room as we put on elaborate performances to songs from the Cats musical, because she was patient enough to go along with my obsession with cats (which took, frankly, a good deal of patience). In third grade, we put on a show about the destruction of Amazon rainforests, and we both wanted to be a ruby-throated hummingbird, and got into quite the argument over it--even though she had called dibs first, she ceded and volunteered to be an armadillo, and was honestly the best and most expressive armadillo I had ever seen and probably would have been even better as a hummingbird. We spent hours in the dirt making fairy houses, cleaning rocks, drinking sap from trees, and trying to dig to lava. She was disciplined and chaotic and incredibly, incredibly good. She made me a better person, and the world a better place. 
Shared by Alden Gilliom on March 27, 2021
Selinde!
When I think of you it is always with an exclamation point. Excited, hungry, or any other way, your vibrance was felt. You glowed. Bright. 
Two vivid memories stand out.   
The first, a fierce burn of the Christmas tree pyre while we hunched over steaming bowls of chili. Your cheeks bright pink with a wool hat tugged down over your ears, leaning against your mom in a side hug. Comfortable in your Carhartts and grinning from ear to ear. 
The second, December of 2019. I stopped by your Christmas tree sale in Columbus fundraising for the forestry club in Columbus. Not knowing what to expect in how you would greet me with all of your college friends around I waved and yelled hi across a swath of pine boughs being twisted into wreaths and hangings. You bounced up, screaming in delight as you dashed across the chaos to throw your arms around me in a tight hug. I shouldn't have worried. 
I admired your firm sense of self--you were Selinde through and through with no apologies or concessions. You forged a path through the world that fit you without worrying too much about the paved road everyone else strolled down. I want to do more bushwhacking like you.
I believe we will hear your echo for years and years to come. Whenever I walk through the forests of Ohio or hear a cackle of loud, unabashed laughter I will know you are near.

Dear Selinde

Shared by Amy King on March 27, 2021
Dear, dear Selinde.  

Contemplating goodbye seems ridiculous.  You are so vividly present.  

Walking on the Baker Preserve with Ryan and your mom and yakking, yakking away with interruptions to admire a mossy patch or marvel over a tree.

Admiring your fierce advocacy for yourself; few folks blaze their own path.  You did it.  And with grace.

Intentionally cultivating your vision of what was next and finding forestry and fire management as a passion.  Perhaps the glow of the Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving was a partial inspiration?  You know of what I write.

Crafting with passion and wild flying disregard for the mess or the outcome.  Oh how many times when I was at your house for dinner I wanted to retreat with you into the mess behind the kitchen and ignore the other grownups.  Would that I had possessed the social courage so I could savor a few more moments of your sly smile and tender touch.  

Although I know you as a powerhouse, I cherish the image of you during the tutu phase.  One of the most beautiful children to shine on this earth.  

Thank you for being here.  Your love and beauty live on in us.  

Amy



Shared by Lark Knutsen on March 27, 2021
Although she was younger than me, I always looked up to and admired Selinde. In my childhood memories, she features as a bold and fearless leader, always swinging higher and venturing further than the rest. I may not have interacted with her much later in life, but even from afar it was clear that she was continuing to take life by storm. Selinde will forever remain one of the most vivacious spirits I have ever known.

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