Supernatural fan conventions inspire in so many ways that we can’t possibly imagine. Fans go to these conventions often times with a story of triumph or inspiration, often sharing how Supernatural has truly affected their lives.
A bittersweet story has come out of the Salute to Supernatural in New Jersey this weekend, one that is personal to me. I usually go to New Jersey con every year (I was at the first one!). Since NJ con was moved to early September this year, it conflicted with my plans to go to Vancouver con a few weeks earlier (too many cons, so little time). I had to pass. That greatly saddened me because I’ve gotten to know many great fans at New Jersey con through the years and this is usually the only time I get to see them. One of those fans is Eric Murray. We often keep in touch online, sharing our love for all things Supernatural.
Last year I met Eric’s niece Stephanie, who joined him at the con. She too was a huge Supernatural fan, and she and Eric had plenty of photo ops planned to commemorate the weekend. I remember them both having a real blast at the con (we all did), getting to know all the celebrity guests and plenty of other fans. Stephanie especially was always smiling. She and Eric had made plans to come back again this year, and Stephanie had purchased numerous photo ops to prove it!
When I caught up with Eric online before the con, he gave me some devastating news. On Memorial Day, Stephanie passed away suddenly. Her death stunned everyone, and her friends and family are positively heartbroken. She was only 22 and had so much life ahead of her. When it came time to go to the con, Eric was determined that Stephanie be in those photo ops she looked forward to all year. He found a solution.
What a poignant memory for Eric and his family to cherish. The Supernatural actors have always amazed me with their class and love for the fans, and their expressions and respect in these photos prove just how much. This SPN family is truly a family that love and care for each other in ways that cannot be mentioned. These pictures speak a thousand words.
Stephanie had also made a music video which she was going to submit for the NJ Con video contest. She had become quite a skilled vidder. Eric sent it in on her behalf, and it won a prize! It was proudly shown in the auditorium at the con.
(or if you need to see it smaller)
Here’s a tribute made to Stephanie as well on YouTube, Supernatural Remembers Stephanie Elizabeth. It has many of the con photos taken at last year’s NJ Con when she could always be seen with a smile on her face.
Stephanie, it was an honor to have you in this fandom. Your love of Supernatural is a testament to the spirit that makes this SPN family truly extraordinary. Thank you for teaching us about the better side of fandom and how life is truly precious. You will be missed.