How do you turn to writing to make sense of something when the event itself is completely senseless? Without any rhyme or reason. So far beyond your comprehension that no words fit the bill – no matter how hard to hold my breath and hope they come out.
I've started this post in my head every day for weeks. I'm sitting here today with tightness in my chest and some tears welling up…fighting to tell you about my friend Maureen Allaben. We met through work – I assisted her when I first started styling. As both of our careers grew, we would work on jobs together as a team. If I was booked on a shoot and couldn't take another job, Maureen is the person I recommended – and vice versa. Our busy schedules kept us from seeing each other as often as we both would have liked – I saw her in December while out at lunch. We kept in touch and spoke often – calling one another to ask for tips or trade styling secrets, industry gossip or stories about our (frighteningly similar) families.
Maureen was killed in what can only be considered an episode of domestic violence the first week of January. The specifics of what happened are unclear to those outside her family. I know enough to know that what happened to her was unexpected – I spoke with her the Sunday she went missing – to everyone. The rest…I can't think of. It breaks my heart to imagine something like that happening to someone so wonderful. There will never be an explanation for it. Never. For the rest of the details, I'll remain unclear.
What I can soundly say is that the gifts that Maureen brought to the world are – and will continue to be – sorely missed. Insanely creative, brazenly smart, wickedly funny – Maureen had a laugh that was just infectious. Her talent and presence filled up a room…and she could rock a short and sassy haircut like no one I've ever met. There was nothing that Maureen couldn't do…and if she didn't know how to do it, she learned. She was also fiercely devoted to her two children who have now lost both of their parents in this senseless tragedy.
So I sit here…pouring my heart out to this blog as I've done many times…on the day of her memorial service…with just one wish. I can only hope for peace and healing for Maureen, her sister & the rest of her family, her colleagues and friends. That wish is amplified tenfold for her two children. Let them know that their mother was such a strong force in the world. She made a positive impact on everyone she met and I just wish for that positivity to surround them as they go through this journey of growing up, learning and healing.
We miss you, Mo. <3
The photo in this post was taken by Evan Bartleson, a photographer and friend of Maureen's. I love this shot – it shows Maureen in her element: working on some wacky, challenging project and loving every minute of it. Also shown in the photo is her assistant Camille, who she always spoke so very highly of. Thanks you for letting me use this photo.