The Lumberjack student newspaper
Sophomore Humboldt State softball player Anna Brondos walks through the dugout past Evelyn Andrew's number 21 jersey with ribbons on her helmet to remember her during the Lumberjacks game against Chico State on Feb. 22 at HSU Softball Field. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing


By Katelyn Dendas

It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving at the entrance of the Arcata Community Forest in my white, tennis shoes with a rambunctious dog, Mayes, and my sad girl hours playlist. 

Different forms of grief were transpiring within my team but I wanted to be among the redwoods, searching for a reason or answer to this loss. I walked for two hours going from trail-to-trail, stopping to explore everything that caught Mayes’s attention, but thinking for too long hurt my heart even more.

On my way into the forest I had two separate phone calls, one to my mom and the other my dad. Both times with tears rolling down my cheeks as I continued to ascend to the top of the hill, out of breath but telling them every detail I knew. 

Over the four months prior to February, Evelyn battled Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a secondary blood cancer that was a direct result of the treatment from her lymphoma in 2017. In the end, a clotting complication common in AML patients developed and was not overcome.

Humboldt State University Athletics stated for the record that Evelyn died cancer free.

Ev 2, Cancer 0.

I found comfort walking among the giant redwoods that day. In the forest everything felt small. Like the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrow defines ‘sonder’ as,

“The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

“An epic story that continues invisibly around you,” the Arcata Community Forest continued on, from the plants above ground to the roots stretched out below. 

No clue that Evelyn was fighting for her life 300 miles away, the trees have seen so much that her passing didn’t stop them from living their own. I continued to walk the forest feeling like a passerby. For a moment I stopped to appreciate the sun beaming through the tall trees and the tears started to roll again, but this time they weren’t as heavy. My breathing felt light and I was happy, smiling upon memories of shenanigans and chaos with Ev. 

The sun shining through felt warm and hopeful. I took out my phone and tried to capture what I was seeing. It was magical. The next day, I found out that the timestamp of that moment was the same time the machines were turned off and Ev had taken her last breaths.

I can’t explain it, but reflecting on that picture and feeling that moment over again, I am constantly inspired. The forest helped me make sense of the heart ache I was feeling. For a couple of minutes on Mon., Feb., 17 at 3:30 p.m., I felt connected to everything.

As I continue to get my degree in environmental science and management, the pressure of time running out gets heavier. Climate change becomes more daunting and depressing. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. 

Sometimes shrugging my shoulders and pondering if ignorance really is bliss. But then I remind myself of this moment that I had. In a time of deep mourning, I had the ability to walk in a forest full of old redwoods and heal. I didn’t have to go far to experience a viable ecosystem. 

The Arcata Community Forest is a treasure. A treasure that not everyone can say they have or will experience. Communities around the world are being trapped into concrete jungles with the natural world degraded around them, when facing sorrows and pain there is no environment to escape to.

I miss Evelyn Andrews so much. She still amazes me, for even in her last moments she continued to show me the light. She is constantly inspiring me to fight for the environment, to give it my all and metaphorically leave my mark (remember leave no-trace when actually in nature). 

Everyone deserves a moment out in the environment that makes them feel connected to everything because, “an epic story continues invisibly around you.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination