I've been trying to think of something to say, but there isn't much. I hardly spoke with you ladies here on gm, never met either of you. All I can say is that you and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you the best in your journey towards healing.
Hi - it's Cecile. I was VermontMama at hipmama. I hang out over at RebelMamasCoop these days. I remember Allison's voice at HM and here, how powerful and clear and strong she was, how kind and wise. I was so grateful to her for standing up to a government and media that told her she was trash over and over and over again, for writing so eloquently, for being so honest, for existing. I was so in awe of someone who validated the lives of so many young women who work so hard to do the best they can to raise their kids in loving, happy homes and provide for their needs and who said, "Yes, can can do this, and you can do it well." And she was brutally honest about the hard stuff, the stuff that isn't fair, like needing to be almost perfect to get any respect at all.
I picked up a postcard recently, a reprint of a poster that says, "Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. Keep loving, keep fighting." I think that says a lot about Allison; she was someone who could fight for what's right, and keep loving while she did it. She made the world a better place, even for those of us who never got the chance to meet her. It's impossible to believe that a heart that huge is not longer beating. I can't fathom what this loss is like for Julie, or Cade, or her mom, or any of the rest of the people who were close to her.
Please know my thoughts are with Alli's family and friends, and this whole, amazing community. I wish I knew the "right thing" to say.
julie, i am so sorry for your loss. i'm sorry your going through this and i'm sure like everyone else i wish i wasn't so far away.
alli was an amazing women and mother. i need more time to digest all of this...
What can be said that has not already?
This is a shock, it is difficult to believe this is real. It must be so hard for you, Julie, and Allison's Mom, and the boys. I cannot even begin to assume I know how you are feeling. I am so deeply sorry.
Alli has left quite a legacy here on this earth- at girlmom and elsewhere along her life. She is an important part of history, she will be remebered for her outstanding contributions to women's history.
But- she was more than that to so many- she was a real life person who loved, laughed, and who had feelings. She will be sorely missed by all.
My deepest love and best intentions go out to those who personally knew her. You are in my thoughts and the memory of Alli is in my heart.
Feel free to contact me- for anything big or small. Take care.
I sit here reading all these posts and crying. I admit, I haven't been the best girlmom lately. Haven't posted or read nearly as much as I wish I had. But hearing this sad news I had to head over here, and post this.
I came here four years ago, a scared 16 year old with a three month old baby boy, scared knowing that I literally knew nothing about the world I had just entered. When I got here, Alli embraced me. She took me in, and helped me through some of my hardest times. I remember waking up every morning knowing that whatever I needed I could turn to those good old orange and yellow boards, and Alli and the other mamas would be there to help me with whatever I needed. Alli truly did help open me up to many things I had never thought about. She allowed me to become the mama that I wanted to become. I owe her alot. She truly was an inspiration to me and to many other mamas I've encountered along the way.
Alli, thank you so much for being there for me. Though we never got to meet and embrace in person as I much hoped we would have been able to, I feel like I know you. You truly are one of my heroes Alli. Thank you for being you...
Now that numb is clearing a bit, I'm angry.
I'm angry because there aren't enough people like Allie in the world that we can spare her. I want to scream. I want to scream because she is leaving a gaping hole in the world where she used to be, and it isn't fair to the rest of us that have to stay here and keep going.
And yes, she inspired me and made me see things, and I found myself slapped in the face with my own predjudice and privilege, and it was a good kind of slap, a slap that makes you think and grow and reach out with compassion. And I was inspired to be brave, do what I really want to do, say what I really want to say, leave my abusive marriage, raise my boy and be teh mama he needs and the mama I can be.
And I am pissed that she's gone.
My heart is breaking for you and the kids.
Our hearts will keep beating.
I remember sitting at my parents house all alone watching A Baby Story and crying. I was about 8 mos pg. I grabbed my sister's YM magazine and they had a thing on influential women (or something to that extent). I was skimming through when a picture of a cute young girl holding a little baby boy caught my eye. That was the first time i had heard Allison Crews.
They mentioned girlmom.com and i immediately went and looked it up. My life really hasn't been the same since. I remember when i was first introduced to those life-saving orange/white boards. There was a thread on how working or going to school as a single mom....i wrote some pathetic entry about how my life was over and i would never accomplish any of that. I got a reply back from Alli that said "that's bullshit and a complete copout!"....and that is my first memory of her. And do you know that was the best reply i could've ever gotten. I sat there reading it almost pissed off at first....but the more i thought about it the more i believed her. My life was just beginning.
Her words have helped me more than she will ever know.
I'm sorry....i'd write more but i just found out and am still in shock and crying. All my love goes out to you all.
I just heard and I can hardly believe it. I am so very sorry for your loss Julie, Alli's mom, Cade, and Dylan.
I'm Alexis, went by Alex here for awhile, and always been more of a lurker than a poster. I showed up right before the boards changed from the orange format. Alli's words inspired and changed me, changed my entire outlook on my life, on my worth as a parent. She was an incredibly strong person and I soaked in all her wonderfully written words, always looking forward to her posts, especially as they became more erratic as she became busier.
I remember reading the first flirty posts between Julie and Alli, and how cute they were together. Then the big post when they declared they were a couple and how incredibly apparent the love between them was.
Julie, I have no doubt that Alli knew you loved her and it was obvious she loved you as well.
I teach HS now and have given Alli's words to many young mamas over the years. I can't tell you how much Alli gave to the world in her short life. I imagine you already know. I hope you are watching her Live journal and seeing the stories. I am so sorry for your loss. My own pain at loosing Alli is terrible; I cannot imagine loosing my child.
I am so glad that Cade is with you. You must know that there is a huge group of mothers out in the world pulling for you in your work mothering him through his grief and yours. I hope he is finding some solace somehow, and if there is anything we can do to help him - notes from the kids, drawings, anything we could do to make him feel any less broken - please do not hesitate to let us know.
My Deepest sympathies to Julie the Boys and Alli's Family, I just didnt want to believe this when I read it. Julie its not your fault at all.
My love to you all
Please let me know if you need Anything!
i probably wouldn't have known Allison without the internet.
her thoughts and comments and stories were strong enough and powerful enough to shoot out of this stupid electronic box and affect my beliefs and who i am about down at the core.
i actually don't think i know any girl moms IRL, and i got pregnant for the first time at 29. i know some friends who used to be girlmoms but i didn't know them while they were living at that point of struggling vs. society.
so i'm probably just one of those lazy motherfuckers who doesn't get out much and doesn't make enough effort to mingle with people who are walking other walks and living different lives, so basically i don't know what i would be like without knowing her. actually, i do know - i'd just basically be a liberal intellectual snob about what it means to be a teen mom, and i would still have no clue and feel no connection to it, not really feel any solidarity, just another 'worthy cause' or something that sounds good but nothing i could actually relate to.
she was one of the few people brave enough to put a face on the bullshit teen mom stereotype and come out and represent. she broke down that wall for me personally, on the old hipmama boards, by sharing some of herself.
i don't know how to say how sorry i am that she is gone now. it shouldn't be this way. life is so totally fucked up sometimes it is just mind boggling.
but i do know this. from 'knowing' her on the boards, i came to consider myself an ally, IRL, because she changed my thinking forever. that's something that is going to last and i wish i had actually told her that when she was here.
i just want her family and friends to know how thankful i am that she touched my life and i have you all in my thoughts.
I am so sorry.
I remember first reading her piece "When I was Garbage" years ago, in Hipmama, and I read some bits and pieces by her in the years since, and some posts when I was on the old hipmama boards. She was such an extraordinary writer, she seems to feel things so deeply and have a gift for sharing those feelings with others...
i am so so so sorry.
alli inspired me in so many ways, just like so many of the other amazing women i've met on this site.
i don't know what to say, there's just tears.
i wish i had the chance to tell her how much she changed my thoughts and way i live life.
much much love to everyone.
alli, julie, the boys, all of her family and friends, you're in my thoughts.
I really still don't know what to say. I've been on this site for three an a half years and didn't really know Alli. I didn't reallise I looked up to her so much. I now relies I admired how pasionet she was about everything she believed in. She really made me take a hard look at myself and who I want to be. I've also realized no one is perfect and this is a caring community. I havn't been active enough on this site or let anyone see who I really am. I really need to start being a part of this community.
Julie- I'm soo sorry words can explain. If you ever need to talk PM me. I have gone through simalar situation. I know it sounds horrible to say it. If you ever need anything. I'm here for you.
I've cried the whole time I've read this thread.
My heart goes out to her loved ones. I hope that you can soon start healing.
I never knew Allie, I've only been around here for about a year. Obviously, she has done many good things and was a great person.
I'm deeply sorry for the loss.
I am from breastfeeding.com and I just wanted to express my sorrow and offer my condolances to the friends and family of Alli. I wish you all peace in your time of grief and may God wrap you in his love and heal your hurting hearts. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.
This is Katie, Kittenkatie. Anyways, I just wanted to come on and only repeat things everyone else said. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss. Alli was someone I didn't really know, just got strength from by reading her articles and listening to the way Julie talked about her. Julie this is by no means your fault, You are a strong beautiful young woman and I can't say I know how you feel, I just want you to know we're all thinking of you and Cade and Dylan as well as Alli's family.
I've never been so affected by the death of someone I've never had a conversation with.
She was amazing. I've been lurking, reading every word she wrote for years.
I'm having some trouble processing this - I found out this morning and I still can't shake the feeling that it's not real.
Julie - I don't know what to say. I'd like to think she's not gone, she's just not in *our* world anymore. I'm very sorry.
My heart goes out to this community.
I only met Alli once, at the first HipMama get together in Portland. She seemed to be really struggling with a lot of things at that time. Even so she struck me as very strong and more alive than most.
Thirteen years ago, I had my son when I was 18 and in my first year of college, and proceeded to split up with my son's dad, finish my degree, move across country, and single parent for 10 years. I think HipMama was for me what Girl-mom is to most of you.
Alli must have an indominable spirit.
Julie, I hope you are with supportive family right now.
my deepest condolences,
I don't know what to say other than to repeat the obvious: my heart goes out to all of those who loved her.
I don't post much here anymore, but this site got me through the worst point of my life, just after I had been put into a mental institution due to severe bi-polar disorder. When I first came here, I was full of pain. And, not to quote a really bad movie, but pain leads to fear, and fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate.
Alli was the first person who challenged me to face up to my hate. To the hate I had for myself, and by extension, by other people like me. She challenged me to learn, and to heal, instead of running away and hiding. Her words made me stick around, and do a lot of unlearning and relearning.
Without her, I may have ended up trying kill myself again. And I might have succeeded.
I don't know if it helps you right now, and I imagine it doesn't, but when the worst of the pain has passed, try and remember all the thousands of people who her fierce feelings and eloquent words literally changed. This world has lost a beautiful soul, and we are all poorer for it.
I kinda wrote in shock and I've been thinking about what to say for a while.
Alli was not a normal person. Not at all. I look on LJ and see all these teen mothers talk about her and how she helped them. I look on GM and see what she started here. Abortions are accepted, teen perenthood is common...and nobody has a problem with it. Most of society does but doing a search of Allison Crews shows a bunch of articles on her. About how she helped and what she started. She was in a very popular teen magazine and helped so many people. If anything, she was above average. It still amazes me how many people she touched. How many teen mothers are out there with their kids in the grocery store and they feel accepted because of her.
To be honest, I believe that everyone goes at the time they should. Alli was young, yes, but she's done more than any young person I've ever met. As these teen mamas raise their children into young adults, they'll tell them about Alli. Her name and her beliefs will always live on.
Julie and the boys, you are so lucky. So so lucky to have such a wonderful person be in your life. So lucky that such an amazing person loved you all.
I'm jealous of you, Julie. Sometimes I hate you for this. I'm jealous of the love you shared. It was so obvious...like everyone could tell. I could only wish that someone will love me that much.
Julie and everyone else who is mourning, instead feeling like the suckiest thing in the world has happened to you, feel happy. Smile. You got to be with her, you got to know her.
Cherish every moment you have had with her and everyone else you love. Hug them a little tighter tonight.
I. just. don't. know. what. to. say.
I am in shock, in tears, in desperation.
Julie and Alli this Alli and Julie that... I talked about the two of you a some holy pair in my daily conversations that implied that I knew you two in real life. Not true, but I feel like I knew Alli and know you even better than most of my IRL friendships. I have just learned so much from Alli's writing and opinions. She will be sorely and brokenheartedly missed. I think I say from all the GMs and Allies, WE ARE HERE FOR WHATEVER YOU NEED JULIE, WHENEVER.
i haven't been at gm long but i can tell you what drove me here:
years ago i had picked up YM magazine (the one with the influential women part) and i was reading throught it when i saw a beautiful girl holding her adorable son...fast forward to when i found o ut i was pregnant...feeling all alone and confused then as i was looking through my old magazines i stumbled upon this one and my whole love for girlmom was formed...it is all thanks to Allison that i am here at this wondeful place i never got the chance to talk with her personally but her family is in my prayers..
sorry for your loss im here if you need to talk as im sure all of us are
I haven't been to gm in months. I haven't posted in even longer. I can barely find the breath, barely see the keys to type this.
I do know Alli. And you too Julie, though we only met in person the once. I will go through my pictures, I know that I have some somewhere. I left LA in January, returning to So Illinois and I wish more than anything I could be there this weekend.
Alli touched so many, she gave so much. She screamed, cried, laughed, she lived loud. It's been like 2 years since I saw you. You and Julie in LA at the Gathering. Julie and I sat on a bench outside the hotel, smoking, chatting. Alli had stayed behind to get to know our bus driver. Then when Alli tried to find us, she couldn't. We wondered what was taking her so long, but we just kept hanging out. Finally she bursted out of the hotel, red faced and yelling at Julie. "Where the fuck have you been! I was worried sick!" She went on and on, so full of panic that she couldn't calm down.
That's when I realized that I had never seen her so happy. It was love. I could tell.
I have to go break down now. I'll get back to you about those pictures Julie. Kiss those boys, Love ya'll.
To Alli's family. You opened your home to my daughter Skyla and I a few time when I was living in Cali. You were lovely to us, and my heart it with you. I do wish that I could be there more than anything.
She loved you, and she knew that you loved her very much
And Julie, you have to know that you saved her so many times. You have to know that.
Love to ya'll
My name is Sarah Tavis, and I haven't posted on girlmom in a really long time. Years. It feels strange that Alli's death should bring me back. I always took this site for granted, thinking I could find alli through the girlmoms whenever I needed to.
I met Alli first online through this site. Girlmom was a smaller part of the hipmama sight. I am glad to see it has grown so much. My youngest son, Dimitri, was only five or six months old when I first started posting- he is now five and a half. Cade was maybe two. I think I posted under the name chula? Alli and I immediately connected. She sent me diaper covers and books-we shared the same ability to find humor in situations that seemed humorless. I loved her silliness. I loved her laughter. She was honest and real and always said what she was thinking.
Shortly after we met online, a group of us hipmama/girlmama gals decided to gather in Seattle for a weekend. It was the first time Alli and I met in person. We all stayed up way too late laughing and commiserating.
Alli and Cade came back with me to Olympia and stayed another night and day. I distinctly remember discussing how we wanted to change the face of motherhood- erase the stereotypes we worked so hard to avoid.
Her friendship has inspired the work I do with young moms. I always have copies of EMPOWER available to the moms I work with. Alli helped give language and momentum to a group of women who are generally left in the margins. She reminded us that we did not make a mistake, nor are our lives over. More importantly, she encouraged women to advocate for themselves and their babies. I read her stories with the women I work with. "You are not alone, you will succeed, you are a kick ass mom" This is the message she has left behind to the young mamas who find this site and read her writing.
The last time I saw Alli in person was in Portland, OR at the first hipmama gathering. We shared a hotel room, and probably pissed of a few folks with our rowdy and raunchy conversations. It's not very often that a mom can find a partner in raunch and rowdiness. Someone to acknowlede that you are more than a boob machine or school shuttle. Someone who is open to discussions about the underbelly of motherhood- because there is an underbelly, and I valued Alli's ability to discuss it openly- lessen the stigma and unneccesary shame.
We talked about a year ago. She told me about how you guys met. her first post to you. She was so proud of the family you guys created together, Julie.
Last weekend I went home to Austin for a friend's wedding. It was the first time I had been back since my pregnancy with Dimitri. Amid the wedding plans and reunions with old friends, I spaced connecting with Alli. When I got home Monday night there was a message on my machine from Sal and Yantra telling me to call them about Alli. I could tell by the tone that it wasn't good news, and I immediately regretted not calling Alli while I was in Austin.
While Alli was visiting me in Olympia, we met with Deborah Davis who was in the process of putting together an anthology. As she watched Alli and I nursing our older baby and toddler, she asked us both how we ended up nursing- the statistics on young moms nursing their kids isn't so high. Alli said, "Because it is what is best for my son- I never thought I wouldn't nurse. I always want to do what is best for my son."
I am thinking of you and the kids, Julie. Lots of folks are. You are all loved.
I want to write a letter to Cade. I want to write something to let him know the small piece of his mama that I knew and cared about. I want to say things to him that don't include my anger or grief or confusion. I want to talk to him about how his mom loved him and I don't want to risk hurting him even more by saying anything about the way his mom may or may not have died.
If you want to write to him too please go to http://www.livejournal.com/community/dear_cade/ and post a letter to him. Include pictures if you have them.
Please, please pass this link on to anyone else who may have memories or pictures or letters of their own to write.
This will be so treasured by Cade as he gets older.
Thank you. This is a wonderful idea
I've got a huge lump in my throat right now. I have been in awe of Alli's voice and convictions ever since I found Girlmom several years ago, even though I never met her IRL or really spoke to her on the Internet.
Julie, I am so, so sorry.