On Monday, March 7, I woke up early, rolled over in bed, checked my phone and looked on Facebook.

A few “Rest in Peace” posts were on my newsfeed, and when I saw who was tagged, I thought at first that one of Jenny’s friends had passed away, and she had made a post.

I promised myself I would text her that I was sorry for her loss. Then I realized she was tagged in all of the posts, and the horrible news started to sink in that Jenny had passed away.

Last semester, as editor-in-chief of The Quad, I had the honor of working very closely with Jenny Miedwig, one of our copy editors. She was an English major at WCU and a wonderful employee of The Quad.

In December, she graduated from the university. As a copy editor, Jenny had the slightly tedious job of reading every single article that went into the paper and copy editing and proofreading the articles. I respected the hell out of our copy editors because I thought the job was very difficult.

Not only was Jenny a reliable and dedicated employee, but she also showed up to the paper every time with a smile–and sometimes with a plate of brownies. Jenny was a complete joy to work with, always friendly, and outgoing.

When I hired Jenny for the paper, it was one of the first times I had ever conducted an interview.

I felt like a phony, like no one would take my authority seriously, but Jenny walked into the interview–in which she would have to copy edit an article–with a smile and an Associated Press Stylebook.

I told Jenny to take her time, and she spent over an hour editing the articles. I sat in the editor-in-chief office, checking emails and doing homework. I was in awe of this girl who was so intently editing.
When she told me she was finished, I skimmed her edits to make sure they were, in fact, accurate. They were fantastic. I remember texting a friend that I had the perfect new copy editor for the paper. I hired her on the spot. Jenny smiled, clearly happy to be offered the job. I never once regretted hiring Jenny, and I’ll forever be grateful we got to work together.

Jenny made a point of getting to know me, friending me on Snapchat and Facebook and always chatting with me at the paper. She worked at Kiwi in town, and whenever I saw her, we would chat. I am absolutely heartbroken to find out that she has passed away. In the coming days, I know this news will spread around campus.

It’s hard for people not to hear about such a tragic event. With Jenny being such a joy and always having a smile, I’ve already heard from people who are upset and heartbroken she’s gone. So many more people knew Jenny and were friends with her than I even realized.

Entertainment editor Jeffrey Holmes said, “Knowing that someone who had helped me grow as a writer is gone is heartbreaking, but thinking of Jenny as a young and recent graduate is downwright shocking.”

Writing this article, I spent hours rereading it and proofreading it. I wondered if I had missed a comma or spelled something wrong. I wondered what corrections Jenny would have made to it.

I’m going to spend today thinking about Jenny and remembering her. I know no one who knew her will ever forget her. I’m so sorry for the loss of those who were close to her. Rest in peace, Jenny.

Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu

2 Comments

  • I’m really at a loss for words here. I’ve come to love everyone at the Quad not just as coworkers, but as friends. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

  • I took a short story workshop at WCU last semester, and ended up in a group with Jenny. She was so welcoming, bright and kind, and her short stories reflected so. This is really not fair at all, and my heart breaks thinking about it. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

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