More than a month ago a close friend of ours died. We just found out last night. We were worried that she was not returning phone calls, e-mails and last night Cari e-mailed a mutual friend. Lisa died in the end of October.
We have no details yet, we don’t know how it happened. We are heart broken but sadly not surprised. Lisa was not healthy and appreantly that was the cause.
Over a year ago Lisa called to tell us that her daughter, who had been the focus of her life had died in a drug overdose. Lisa had battled with her daughter Danica’s addiction for some time. Lisa never recovered from her daughter’s death, she was convinced it was not accident. I can say after talking to her about it I agree. Lisa had become devoted to bringing Danica’s killer to justice. A lot of things didn’t add up.
Lisa was essentially homeless the last year, choosing to live in a van. The last time we talked a few weeks before her death, she sounded upbeat and slowly returning to normal. She had told us that her health was not good but assured us she was working on it.
I first met Lisa in 1999 in Indiana and it was hard to compare the beautiful strong hearted warrior I met then with the woman who was struggling in the last year. We met during the fight to protect Lake Griffy from a proposed Golf course that threatened the lake’s ecosystem. Lisa headed up an effort to keep star bucks out of town, She tried innovative activism that I didn’t always think was effective.
Our friendship took off when we had long talks about what was effective. I always loved talking strategy with Lisa. Even as she in the last year waged a fight for the truth about Danica our talks involved what was the best way to expose the issue. It was how we had bonded.
Lisa quickly proved that she was a badass activist. Where she really proved this was with her total support for the radicals. In Bloomington at the time the ELF quickly became hated after the ELF burned down homes being built on Lake Monroe. I was never a big fan of those actions myself but Lisa stepped forward to explain her support for the ELF when no one else would.
After these comments to the media Lisa was attacked in letters to the editor. Some of the attacks were quite harsh. Lisa even got phone calls with death threats telling her to shut up. Lisa refused, even better she went further. Lisa put on a huge panel discussion featuring a former FBI anti-domestic terrorist dude and Craig Rosebrough the spokesman for the ELF at the time.
The death threats against Craig and Lisa poured in. Lisa and our activist collective organized security for his talk, including a ninja trained vegan bodyguard. 200 people showed up including this hilarious cult of people who consider themselves elves based on Tolkien books who issued papers suing Craig for the use of the word ELF.
To this day it was one of the biggest coolest activist events I’ve ever been too. Lisa also got attention for fighting back against an abusive ex-boyfriend and refusing to accept it when the city seemed to be taking the abuser’s side.
Before Danica’s death Lisa was a force of nature and I am very proud to have worked with her. This last year I had been preparing myself for this awful news and was worried she would never be able to move on. The worst tragedy is she sounded better, She sounded ready to take care of herself, and try to be the old Lisa again. I can’t express how much I will miss her.
It also reminds me again why I am Straight Edge. Drugs took another victim in Lisa. She’ll be missed and never forgotten.