Remembering Taryn Burke (1987–2014)

Taryn K. Burke

July 19, 1987–November 22, 2014

Forever in our hearts and dreams...

Late afternoon on November 22, 2014, we at #rpg-frontier received word that a long-time member of the Acmlm's and #rpg-frontier community, Taryn Katrina Burke, had passed away in her apartment in Seattle. We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of one of our most loved members.

I had first met Taryn back in 2006 during a rough time in both of our lives; I had just moved out on my own and Taryn started college in the Detroit area, where she was originally from. We met on a now-defunct message board called Romendo, during a time when the Acmlm's community was undergoing some troubled times. During that time, I had been struggling with drug addiction, and Taryn helped me through and overcome.

In the summer of 2007, my mother passed away, and I was suffering depression as a result; I contacted Taryn over AIM and started to talk to her more and more, usually for hours each day as a form of comfort during this time. I eventually helped her out of the closet and helped her accept her lesbianism. Unfortunately, we did not speak for a few months as I had moved back home and was busy in real life with my ex-girlfriend and others; we eventually got back together in 2008.

Taryn had been studying in Germany at the time we re-found each other, and was about to return to Michigan; I missed her when she was away, as in a way, I was her only friend for a while. Once she returned, we talked just about every day on AIM for the next 2 or so years, talking about music, cats, video games, and life in general.

It was that fateful summer I introduced her to two of my favorite games: Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. She adopted the name "Terra" from the game Final Fantasy VI, as she felt she could relate to her very well. That was another rough time for us, and we played various RPGs and other video games and talked about our future. Taryn even helped me through 2009, which ended up being one of my worst years in my life. I still believe that we saved ourselves through that year today; I had moved 4 times in 2009 alone, broken up with my ex-girlfriend, and lost my father all in that same year.

In late 2009, we decided to make a full return to the Acmlm's community, which by this point had already split into two boards; after this point, both our lives started to turn around for the better, and I owe it all to Taryn. Thank you for everything you have helped me through.