On March 5, my Facebook feed informed me that 19 of my friends had posted statuses about Eve Carson. Most of the posts were quotes, and many of them referred to the Carolina Way, with which Eve’s memory has come to be synonymous.
The fourth anniversary of Eve’s death leaves the current student body with some tough questions. How do we commemorate someone we never knew? Is it possible to carry on Eve’s legacy without mythologizing her — without forgetting that she too was a college student, complete with imperfections and uncertainties?
And should students feel guilty if they feel distant from Eve’s life, from her death, and from the pain that paralyzed this campus four years ago?
The short answer, as I see it, is no. We shouldn’t feel guilty. Time may never be able to heal the wounds of Eve’s friends and family, but in its passage, an entirely new set of students has populated this university. It is only natural that we feel less of a connection to Eve than our counterparts did four years ago. It would be ludicrous to suggest that we understand what those students felt when they lost her.
The long answer, however, is more complex. As the younger sister of one of Eve’s close friends, I lack the emotional distance of most of my classmates. My first time in the Dean Dome was for Eve’s memorial service. More happily, the first time I drank tequila was with Eve in the living room of her house on Friendly Lane.