Evie Swierczynski

July 15, 2003October 30, 2018

Evie was super glue. Not in the arts-and-crafts sense, though she loved creating things and used plenty of adhesive (and tape and paper and colored pencils) in the process. No, Evie was the glue that connected family and friends in a way that was not always visible, but deep and powerful nonetheless.

We know this, because without her the world feels like it is ready to fall apart.

When Evie was 11 she created a pop-up store with hand-made purses and wallets and little sculptures. She’d join her father at small comic book conventions and sell her wares right next to his comics and novels. And she’d outsell him by a wide margin. But her motivation wasn’t money (she was always donating the lion’s share of the proceeds to St. Jude’s Hospital). She simply wanted to bring a little joy into people’s lives. Evie called her venture “The Fun Store.” She’d even put out a container of free toys and candy for anyone to take, just so that no one would ever feel left out.

That was the thing about Evie; she always gravitated to the outsiders. Her favorite stuffed animals were oddball creatures: rats, ostriches, pot-bellied cats… any kind of cat, really. If you were at a party feeling awkward and alone, Evie would bring you into the fold, introduce you around. She had her own dreams and plans (following in the footsteps of Alexander Hamilton and attending Columbia University so that she could teach history). But she always took great joy in whatever you wanted to do.

And no matter what you were doing, she’d make you laugh. Evie was born with incredible comedic timing, a gift that would show itself at the most surprising moments. During her first round of chemo, the painkillers made her act a little… goofy. “Wow, we haven’t seen you this silly since you were four,” her parents noted. Evie replied, “But when I was four, did I do this…?” Then gave us the finger.

Over the past five months she gave cancer the finger, too. When that struggle became too great she retreated to some other place, and only then did her parents realize the truth: Evie had been supporting them just as much as they’d been supporting her. A mischievious smile; a deadpan retort; a peace sign; rolled eyes; an exaggerated selfie pose; a hug. These were the things that kept them going during an epically frightening time.

Her family and friends are heartbroken and grieving her loss, not sure how to proceed, afraid that this new world will come flying apart. But Evie showed us the way, by example of her life. In the face of lonliness or fear or adversity, you laugh. You create. You blow bubbles. You hug. You make up stories about stuffed animals. You give to those who have less. And sometimes, you give fear the middle finger, because it’s funny.

Evie will always be super glue.

And she will forever bind together those who love her.


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Evie Swierczynski

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Katherine Shaw

November 11, 2018

I remember Evie blowing those bubbles you have in the picture at the hospital. She was always looking to brighten the world around her, and She truly did!