BEDITSHOA: This one is for Esther.

As many of you know, sixteen year-old Esther Earl passed away this Wednesday. I didn't know Esther personally, but as she was an active member of both the Nerdfighter community and the Harry Potter Alliance, she was a friend to many of my friends. They all say that she was bright, hilarious, optimistic, and very human.

It was in Esther's name that the HPA won $250,000 (!!!) in the Chase Community Giving contest, which is now spreading literacy around the world and fighting for LGBT equality. (Here is the amazing HPA video.) And here's the video that John Green made about Esther that helped them win:

And . . . here is the video that John made this week:

You can read Esther's beautiful obituary here.

You can visit cookie4monster4, her YouTube channel, here.

And you can donate to the Friends of Esther fund here, through the Harry Potter Alliance. All of the money raised will go directly to her family to help pay for the expenses incurred during her care.

I encourage you to honor Esther as John Green suggested in his latest video: "Don't just do something. Stand there." That there's value in being still, in "bearing witness to Esther's life and allowing ourselves to be transformed by it."

I also encourage you to honor her memory as a true Nerdfighter: DFTBA. Don't forget to be awesome. As Melissa Anelli (webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron) tweeted, "Honor her by shining as brightly as you know how."

Thank you for being you, Esther. Rest in Awesome.


  1. As a former punk rock star turned pop radio star playing a cab-driving ghost in a Christmas movie once said: Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel.

    Pretty much those videos turned me into a goddamn puddle. Don't Forget to Be Awesome, indeed. Also, I don't know this John Green, but any man who comes to authoring YA books after being a hospital chaplain and who makes videos like that deserves some ducats. Paper Towns bought (thanks, Amazon Prime!), donation given to FoE. Thanks for this post, Stephanie.

  2. Thanks for sharing the videos, Steph. I loved the part about standing there and letting the grief transform you. Sometimes it's scary to let yourself feel.

  3. Wow! I'm at the office, trying not to leak like a faucet.

    I had a similar situation last year, when a friend of a friend (Brian Ernst) died of cancer at 16 and made such an impact on Mark Teixiera of the New York Yankees that he wore his number.

    We should all be so awesome!

  4. Oh wow. I am crying. What a beautiful post.