This weekend was Yeardley Love's. The 22-year-old University of Virginia student-athlete was found dead in her apartment last week, allegedly murdered. The story of her tragic death has gripped the Maryland-Virginia-Washington area, and the ensuing investigation has consumed headlines. But this weekend, all the headlines and news about investigations and evidence took a backseat. It was time to remember Love for who she was: by all accounts, a fun-loving, smart, and talented young woman.
The University of Virginia held an emotional candlelight vigil for Love, a lacrosse player who was planning on graduating this spring and competing for a lacrosse national title with the Cavaliers. And in Baltimore, near Love's hometown of Cockeysville, Md., nearly 2,000 mourners remembered Love at her funeral, the Washington Post reports. At her funeral, Love's coach at U-Va., Julie Myers, fondly recalled Love's engaging presence.
"It came easy for her to be great, to be kindhearted, welcoming, encouraging, and engaging to all who knew her. She was legitimately awesome," Myers said at the funeral.
At the candlelight vigil on U-Va.'s campus, university administrators struck a tone of both sorrow and seriousness, reminding students to be vigilant when it comes to violence against women, the Cavalier Daily reports.
Speaking to students at the vigil, University of Virginia President John Casteen said, "My hope for Yeardley, and for you, is that her death inspires an anger, a sense of outrage that engenders determination here and wherever Yeardley's name is recognized that no woman, no person in this place, this community, this state, our nation need either fear for her safety or experience violence for any reason."
In addition to the vigil for Love, the university also plans to award a posthumous bachelor's degree to Love.
This weekend wasn't the end of the story, but it was certainly a chance to celebrate a young woman whose life was cut far too short.
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