Friends and classmates of slain Barnard College student Tessa Majors gathered for a private memorial in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday to celebrate the life of a young woman they say shone so bright she “knit the world together.” Majors, the daughter of Christy Majors and novelist Inman Majors, had just started her freshman year at Barnard College when she was fatally stabbed just blocks from the school’s campus in New York City earlier this month. While her family did not speak at Saturday’s memorial, a letter from her father that was read aloud recalled Majors’ playful nature as a child, when she decided she was not a girl but a cat named Dr. Trixie. “It was hard to get her to answer to anything but Dr. Trixie for awhile,” her father wrote, according to The Daily Progress.
Majors’ friends and former classmates from her time at St. Anne’s-Belfield School described her as an uplifting influence in their lives. “Each and every one of us can share stories about Tess and how our time with her at school, in camp, in the music studio, on the stage, over a cup of coffee, left us feeling better, left us feeling more optimistic about the future,” head of St. Anne’s David Lourie was quoted as saying. The memorial service reportedly ended with a fitting tribute: a performance of the song “Prom Queen,” which Majors herself had written for her band Patient 0. David Smith, one of her former teachers, recalled her ability to “knit the world together” and “tether communities” both inside and outside school. Imagining what Majors would say to those mourning her death, Smith said, “I think Tess would look down to us, extend a hand — maybe with a roll of the eyes — and say, ‘It's okay to cry, but get up you weirdo. Dust yourself off. Quit your whining. Jump up and down and dance.”