In loving Memory

June 15, 2011
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Darby Caroline Owens, age 16, was found dead in the parking deck of the Asheville Mall. The coroner reports that the cause of death was a methamphetamine overdose. Whether or not said overdose was intentional, he cannot say. He can only say that Darby died alone-- in a parking lot.

She is survived by her estranged parents Martha and Derek Owens. Mr. and Mrs. Owens refused to comment on the death of their daughter, but their dry, empty eyes spoke volumes about their feelings for her. She is also survived by her four younger siblings, Maddie (12), Patrick (9), Eleanor (4) and Michael (2). None of her siblings know she is dead. Eleanor and Michael barley remember that she was ever alive at all.
Darby was a brilliant redhead. She was skinny, not thin, skinny. She was 5’10’’ and still growing. She loved pop-rocks, coke-cola and snorting coke. She liked dancing poorly to no music. Darby Owens could not sing, but that did not stop her from belting out every song that came on the radio. She often skipped to the bus-stop where she brought her meth.
At 14, an older boyfriend introduced her to drugs. Two weeks later that relationship ended, but her drug use did not. Later that year she got her first taste of the monster, crystal meth. At 15 Darby’s mother kicked her out of the family home and onto the streets. “You came straight from the devil, Darby. You are a devil, I said. I won’t have a devil living with my little ones. I just won’t have it.” Now, at 16 Darby is dead.
Darby Caroline Owens was not an incarnation of the devil. She was a good person, a good friend. She volunteered at Asheville’s Golden Retriever Rescue. Darby’s favorite people in the world were her little siblings. She got good grades before she dropped out of school. She was a vegetarian. Her favorite color was Yellow.
When asked if he felt any guilt over Darby’s death her dealer, Stefan (who has refused to give is his last name) said no. “I just led her to the water. I never made her drink.” He shrugged his shoulders and went to deal with another customer. Darby Owens would have punched him in his face.
Darby liked that her initials, D.O., spelled do. “A lifetime is not enough to do all I need to do in this world.” Darby wanted to travel to Casablanca, and Nagasaki. She wanted to learn to waterski. Darby Owens died without ever having seen an opera.
Darby once said that she wanted to go out with a bang, not a whimper. No one knows what happened in that parking lot. The coroner did not say whether or not there were tear-tracks on her face. But chances are she was whimpering.
Darby’s life will be celebrated with a graveside service and fireworks show at Riverside Cemetery. All are invited. A reception will follow immediately after the service. Jugglers and fire dancers will be present. We are going to send her off to whatever lies beyond life with a resounding bang. Please come, help us celebrate the short, intense, tragically beautiful life of Darby Caroline Owens.
God have mercy on her soul.

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