If you read a tweet or a Facebook post from the Star Tribune, it probably came from Rachel Chazin, the newspaper’s social media producer.
Every tribute to her today centers around her laughter, which is the disturbing element of her read-between-the-lines obituary. She was only 27 when she died two weeks ago.
The poignant tribute to her in today’s Strib, wonderfully crafted by Jackie Crosby, focuses heavily on the things life should be all about: laughter.
Rachel Chazin had one of those laughs. Loud, open-mouthed and contagious, the kind that made people feel as if they were part of something special.
“It was common for her to laugh so hard, she would cry,” said Sarah Shibrowski, a high school friend and college roommate.
Crosby created the rare obituary that devastates the most casual reader who never met the departed, forcing us to draw others nearer, even those who are laughing.
We’re not going to know much more about her passing, nor do we need to in order to understand the magnitude of the loss and be gutted by the paradox surrounding her death.
Hearing this a few weeks ago hit me to the core. Rachel was such a bright star. Smart, witty, energetic. I saw her recently. We laughed the entire time we talked. Rachel, you've left a mark on my memory forever. Now, may your memory forever be a blessing. https://t.co/hwRGMBZVBV
— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) July 13, 2018
It’s poignant they can only allude to the cause of a journalist’s death, but I’m guessing family wishes were observed. I can feel the loss through the page. RIP. https://t.co/Y7Wh0PT7VS
— David Brauer (@dbrauer) July 13, 2018
This news hit our newsroom hard a few weeks ago. Rachel was a beautiful light, she kept us smiling & laughing during her days at Fox 9. She was thrilled to join the StarTribune & loved it. Rachel you are missed already. 🙏 Please tell those you love how much you do & do so often https://t.co/3MEzyE3PoR
— Dawn Mitchell (@DawnAtFOX9) July 13, 2018
Here’s our obituary for my friend @RachelChazin, who I worked with every single day. She was one of the smartest journalists I’ve ever known, and she was only 27. She also once taught Prince about Spotify. Just incredible all around. https://t.co/DWjxljxVpn
— Tom Horgen (@tomhorgen) July 13, 2018
Chazin’s last Twitter post came after Anthony Bourdain’s death early last month.
The tweet has now become a tribute wall to Chazin. And a damn good piece of advice.