Today's #TributeTuesday comes from Matthew Polky. Thank you for your sweet words. We miss our girl every day, and seeing how she touched so many lives warms our hearts. ❤
"I remember elementary school. And recess. And swinging upside down on the girl's monkey bars once. And loving you. Every time my eyes darted toward you. You were the girl I liked before I even knew I liked girls. I was so happy when we reconnected in our adult years. I got to meet your friends and family and see the warmth and love that radiated all around you. You were the definition of grace, an angel brought to Earth and taken back too soon. You were loved and always will be."
Today's #TributeTuesday comes from Taylor Sant, one of Claire's dental school classmates:
"Claire was literally the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful person I have ever met. She was the Community Service Committee Leader for our class, volunteered with several community programs, and wanted to use the skills she acquired as a dentist to serve those less fortunate and help those that could not financially afford it. This event of her death has instilled in me a passion to have the same passion she had, and I will look forward to serving those less fortunate who cannot afford dental treatment.
Thank you, Claire, for making this world a better place every day you were on this earth. Your legacy will go forward with over 100 brothers and sisters you called your classmates for 4 years."
Claire LOVED the University of Louisville School of Dentistry Class of 2017. Thank you for the sweet words, and reminding us of why we strive to #BeMoreLikeClaire
Today's #TributeTuesday comes from Claire's friend from dental school, Ivy Nguyen. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your kind words, and reminding us all why we strive to #BeMoreLikeClaire.
"Claire, you are a beautiful and loving soul that will be missed by everyone that you have crossed paths with. Everyone needs a Claire in their life. Even through the stresses of dental school, she still found time to live her life to the fullest. She had one of the most caring hearts I knew dedicating herself to community service. Anything she cooked or baked came out to perfection. She was someone that inspired others to be the better version of themselves. I will never forget all the fun memories we have shared. Thank you for being such an integral part of University of Louisville School of Dentistry Class of 2017. We are all better for having known you."
Claire's cousin, Liza Gant, posted this tribute a few days ago. It's beautiful and heart wrenching and true. Thank you for letting us share it with Claire's Community.
Here are some things I know:
Life is beautiful, but it is brutal. It can be ugly and heart-wrenching and unfair.
It's easy to watch something devastatingly horrible happen to your family and fall into cynicism in order to protect yourself from the pain.
Don't. Feel deeply. Get passionate. Get pissed.
I am more sad than I am angry, but not by much. Non-physical domestic abuse (verbal, emotional, manipulation, intimidation, etc) is not universally seen for what it is. It is wicked. It is dangerous. It is the symptom of something much larger.
It is your aunt you've only met once because her husband has ostracized her from the family and she is too afraid to leave.
It is your friend's boyfriend who calls her every 30 minutes while she's out without him, making sure that she knows that there will be hell to pay if she doesn't get back home right when he wants her there.
It is the police saying there is nothing they can do. It is the refusal of a restraining order. It is the idea that if there are no visible marks and bruises, it can't be THAT bad.
It is my beloved cousin, the best person I know, getting shot on a cold January morning on her way to work, by her ex-boyfriend who had never previously laid a hand on her.
I know that am mournful, I am horrified, I am bewildered that there is enough evil in this world that something like this can happen. I am furious that my aunt is left without her daughter and best friend. I am furious that my cousins are left, two older brothers without their younger sister to pick on, protect, and love. My heart is shattered. My family lost our living-room dancer, karaoke champion, and one of our brightest lights.
And I know I am naive enough to think that there is still good in this world.
Claire-Bear... I am blessed to have grown up alongside you, to have shared so many belly-laughs and inside jokes, and to have had you as a constant motivation and inspiration. You loved me through all my junk, you made me laugh incessantly, and I really really really really really miss you.
Today's #TributeTuesday comes from Claire's long-term roommate and best friend Maddie Ryan. Thank you, as always, for your kind words, and for helping us further memorialize and remember our girl.
"My favorite things about Claire are her sense of humor and her love for others. From day one we shared a sense of humor that was both silly and strange.
She's the Ooms to my Dolla, we even made a blog celebrating our friendship. We loved to make up dances to songs that were not high quality, dressing up as Amy Winehouse or lumberjacks, watching bad television, and imitating the chipmunk from Disney's Enchanted.
One summer we spent every evening watching Twin Peaks. This was the beginning of "binge" watching television, around 2011-ish. Every night we would come back from class, lay down on the couch, and watch episode after episode. Then Claire got a cat. I was not a fan, it destroyed my furniture and was way too loud, but she won me over by naming it Cooper. Dale Cooper was our favorite character in Twin Peaks, a man who loved coffee and pie. Cooper became part of the family until our roommate ship ended on 7-14-12, a date Claire commemorated with a playlist because she is the sweetest, kindest and most silly person I've ever met!!
The love you could feel from this girl was unparalleled. She made you feel like you were way better at everything you did then you actually were. She bought her friends art, went to their performances, and cheered you on in even you most harebrained ideas. In college, she insisted that I put a portrait of myself on our shared mantle. It wasn't good or cute but I definitely felt loved. Even after college, she kept a Maddie original on her mantle of a woman holding a chainsaw. Why? because she loved me and was a weirdo.
As you can tell, she was an integral part of everything I did. I'm horrified that something so violent happened to someone I love. Losing her was sudden, abrupt, and devastating to everyone she came in contact with. Love you, Ooms forever and ever."