I was privileged to meet her - once - and we got so engrossed in conversation that I let someone steal the extra chair I was supposed to be guarding against the return of Charles Brown of Locus who had gone to get a drink (and returned to find himself without a seat, and informed me that I was fired, but that's another story). I thought her writing was brave, and luminous. I thought she herself was a wonderful character. I was looking forward to crossing paths with her again, some day. Alas, not to be.
It's a loss, to the community she belonged to, which she shared her life and her writing with. It is a gift to us that she left her writing behind for us to treasure.
Godspeed, Octavia. My world was the richer for your presence in it.