On September 1, 2020, complications from anorexia nervosa claimed another life. Keltia Annette “Tia” Franke was taken at 37 years old. In her sleep.
I didn’t know Tia Franke. She had some common friends in treatment with my beloved daughter, Morgan. We were friends on Facebook. I didn’t know Tia. But, walk with me now as we come to know Tia through her many friends on Facebook. Read Those Words. Honor Tia Franke by reading every word … and gaining an insight into her life, her soul.
“It is great sadness and with a very heavy heart to share the sudden, unexpected death of my sweet daughter, Keltia Franke. She was so caring. She had a job that she loved, she was so happy, eagerly living life and excited about the future. The unexpectedness of her death is exceedingly difficult for the Franke family and we are heartbroken to have lost our dear Tia.”
“So heartbroken to hear of my friend Tia Franke’s passing if you’re suffering from an eating disorder, please know you’re not alone and you deserve help. I’ll miss our convos and your constant encouragement. Love you, girl. ”
“I’m HEARTBROKEN to read that a sweet friend I was in treatment with has passed away unexpectedly. Tia Franke you were always so sweet to me and I was so proud of how hard you tried, even when it was impossibly difficult. Ugh I can’t even think straight right now.
If nothing else Tia… I’m so glad you’re at peace now. And thanks for all the times you encouraged me.
Praying hard for your family to feel comfort today and in the days ahead. “
“THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE OF AN EATING DISORDER. Please please PLEASE if you’re struggling, talk about it. Please. You are NOT a burden and there is hope and healing. I freaking hate eating disorders! They keep taking the most precious souls from us!!!”
“I am absolutely devastated to hear that my dear dear friend Tia Franke has passed. I am feeling so many emotions right now. I am currently sobbing, feeling shattered, angry at Eating Disorders, and at a loss for words. I love you so much Tia. Oh what I would give to hug you one last time.”
“Tonight I just found out I lost a very dear friend Tia Franke whom I spent long hours with in treatment in Denver last year. We stayed in touch since and our last contact with one another was late August on messenger… Tia was a real asset in my life.. I’ve been struggling lately with my Eating Disorder and I openly shared with her when she asked me how I was doing. I would usually say I am fine but because was so authentic and easy to love, I was straight forward about myself her. Tia’s response to me was that I can share anything with her. She spoke to be that she will always be there to support me. Then she shared with me that she was starting a new job working from home in Denver how thrilled she was.. Meanwhile, I read just a mother while ago a very devastating post from her dear mother that Tia unexpectedly passed away.. I’m sharing this because I’m needless to say I’m devastated and saddened. And to share with anyone out there that early disorders are real a silent killer… And every person struggling with one, looks different There’s no one way to look with an EATING DISORDER. I’ll tell you though they have the highest mortality rate…I will really miss my friend!!!!”
“Tia Franke was like a big sister to me in treatment. I’m sure everyone from pine remembers her DEMANDING I finish my plate from across the room. What a devastating loss. Eating disorders are EVIL.”
“I can’t believe I would ever have to write these words. It is with overwhelming grief that I relay the sudden, unexpected death of my baby sister, Keltia Franke. She was the funniest, goofiest, most lovingly kind person. I am just so lost and heartbroken. I am so blessed for all the memories you gifted me with, TT.”
“I can’t believe the news I just saw. Tia Franke you will be so terribly missed. You were such a great friend. I will cherish every memory I got to make with you. I am heart broken. I pray for your family and friends and everyone we both knew and hung out with together in treatment. You were so sweet and caring and always in a good mood. I loved talking to you and watching you make blankets. I will never give up fighting in honor of you. I promise you this. I can’t believe this. I am so heart broken.”
“Just found out that my friend from treatment at ERC in Denver, Tia Franke, passed away. Our rooms were right beside each other and she was like my treatment older sister by looking out for me. Tia was always so kind and helped advocate for my health needs. I still remember watching dog videos with her in the med line to pass the time. Eating disorders suck. ”
“My heart is so sad right now. Tia Franke, I can’t stop thinking about one of our last process groups together in treatment. you had been struggling so much and opened up to all of us. it was one of the strongest, most beautiful and powerful things i’d witnessed. you were always kind to me no matter how much you were struggling and were one of the first people to make sure i felt welcomed and not alone when i first got there. sending so much love and prayers to all of the many people who got the chance to know and love you.”
“I honestly don’t even know where to begin. My heart is broken as I just received the news my dear friend and past roommate Tia has passed away. Heaven gained a strong, beautiful, & compassionate angel.”
“Tia Franke you were truly like a sister to me. I’ll never forget your kindness, love for the specific Charmin commercial, contagious smile even during the hardest days, love for coffee (especially Starbucks instant), morning chats, great sense of humor, and genuine compassion. You are so so so loved. My thoughts and prayers go out to Tia’s family. ”
“Oh Tia Franke … my heart hurts. You fought so hard and taught me so much. You were so sweet. Can’t help but remember the time when I was sitting in a room alone sad and you came up to me and basically forced me to color with you even though I insisted I hated coloring, because you knew I shouldn’t isolate. Fly high sweetie, the fight is over and you can be free ”
“I’m absolutely devastated and shook to hear a beautiful soul, Tia Franke, was taken too soon. She was light in any room she stepped in and always knew how to make others laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with the Franke family and with anyone affected by eating disorders. They are truly evil illnesses. Rest In Peace, my friend You were inspirational and you are missed”
“At a completed loss for words. My heart just broke. Tia Franke, you will truly be missed. You were an incredibly bright light and such a joy to be around. No matter what you had going on, you always made sure to help others. You talked me through countless breakdowns, as we met my very first time in treatment. I was scared, and you helped me through so much. I miss you, I love you, and RIH.”
“Oh Tia, where do I even begin. I am heart broken to hear of the news of my dear friend’s passing. Over the years you have helped me through some of the darkest moments with your endless compassion, boundless humor and gentle kindness. I will always cherish the matching acorn bracelets we bought together as a token of new beginnings. And laughing together and finding joy in even the most difficult of moments. You epitomized strength and grace and hold an incredibly special place in my heart love. I know you would’ve wanted me to include this so, where is SE and always stay on your left side.
You spread light to all the lives you touched, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Tia’s family Rest easy my friend, you will be greatly missed”
“My heart is heavy tonight. I found out someone I was in treatment with Tia Franke and was a great support to me passed away. I’m just saddened and without words. Eating disorders steal lives.”
“So sad to hear of the passing if my old friend Tia Franke!! She was always such a bright light! You will be so missed, sweet friend! Tia and Trina Tequila forever! ”
“I just heard and my heart squeezed. So many truly amazing souls escaping this reality. All Hail the Traveler Tia Franke. A funny, silly, lively and lovely woman. Be blessed and rest in power.”
“Tia Franke every single day in treatment, you always had a bright smile on your face. I know you were struggling, but you continued to be a light for others. You are a wonderful human being and you will be missed dearly. I’m so sorry that this disease took you too soon. Sending love to your family”
“Tia Franke, I’m not sure how to feel other than shocked and utterly heartbroken. To fight as hard as you did, spend years in treatment centers fighting for your life, just to die suddenly, feels so unfair. Two weeks ago we spoke and you told me how good you were doing and how you were eating 3 meals and 3 snacks every day. And I jumped for joy for you. Tia, you’re my partner in coffee crime, putting fake beetles in offices, Harry Potter weekends, dirt pudding dates, and always having something perfectly clever and hilarious for that moment to say. You’ve been such a good friend over the years. You taught me so many funny things, and lead by example. We discovered together (after getting caught) that eating the tea inside the tea bag isn’t worth missing out on tea the next night. But most of all you showed me that recovery from an eating disorder is possible even for the sickest. You have been the sickest person I have known, and you recovered. How is this fair at all?”
“My heart is broken tonight in hearing about my dear friend’s passing. Tia had a heart of gold and always knew how to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Eating disorders are cruel illnesses. Please keep her family and friends in your prayers I am so grateful that God crossed our paths. You will be so missed.”
“I am completely heartbroken you are gone Tia. Such a beautiful soul, a light in the darkness, and a kind friend. You’ve touched so many lives with you beautiful smile, kind words of encouragement, and perseverance in the fight of your life. I am thankful you are at peace, the fight is over sweet angel and you can rest in God’s arms.
Eating Disorders are insidious and claim too many precious lives. To all of my friends still struggling (myself included), I love you and you deserve a life free of this disease ”
“How lucky am I to have met someone that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Tia Frank. Thank you for being so caring and listening to me (or just sitting with me even when I was trying to push everyone away) when I was struggling but also helping me play pranks when I needed a laugh. (My favorite one with you was setting all of these different alarms and putting the clocks in the ceiling to later go off for other people to have to find…) I needed someone like that in my life during that time. Thank you for that. You made such an impact on everyone around you. You will be missed so much. Eating disorders suck.”
“My heart is heavy today. Heaven received a beautiful angel. Tia, you were such a sweet and caring woman and an amazing friend. When we were in treatment together you always made sure to check in with me and find a way to make me smile. Every time I see that Charmin commercial I smile because it reminds me of you. You are loved by so many people and will be missed so much!”
“Heartbroken at the sudden and unexpected loss of one of my dearest friends from high school, Keltia Tia Franke.”
“We lost yet another beautiful soul and bright spot in this world. I have so many words and memories I would love to share in honor of Tia, but once again, my words escape me. I couldn’t do her justice even if I tried. I am just at such a loss. This needs to stop happening. I love all of you more than I can say, and I’m here if anyone needs anything at all. Take care of yourselves, lovelies. It gets better. It has to. ”
“I generally don’t post about things such as this. I can’t even believe I am typing this. My dear dear dear friend Tia Franke passed away very suddenly. Tia was not someone who I just spent time with in the hospital, she was always alive and full of life. I am so so beyond grateful for the time I had with her outside as well. I wish I hadn’t missed our last drink, It will be one of my biggest regrets. I miss you more than you can imagine, I can’t bring myself to believe any of this is real- I am still waiting for another text to appear. Whomever knew it didn’t know Tia- she was the most genuine hard working sincere kind person I have known. She would always and did go beyond any length to help others. She made me laugh – always- she was both the best roomate i could have asked her, the best person to get a coffee with, she was like a mom to me many times when I needed to, as well as a very close confident and true true friend. I love you, and will never forget you.”
“Tia Franke, you deserve more than a facebook post, you deserve more than words can describe.”
“I keep and asking god why, and to take it back. I spent the entire day yesterday holding onto that stupid corny shell. Without you even knowing it you saved me- I don’t have the words to say nothing can suffice
You helped me feel whole when I wasn’t able to. You taught me how to laugh again, you taught me things I can’t put into writing. And yes you spoke with me, we held each others truths- knowing that no matter what we wonton were somewhere awake at the same time.
Im not going to talk about my memories and moments- I wish I could trade places with you, because the world needs you. I wish I answered your text last week.”
“You deserve the world to stand up together in your name, you deserve to continue to live in in the hearts of others- and you will always always continue to live in mine”
“I am so sad! Tia Franke, you were an amazing human. Always kind and sweet even when you were struggling. You got me though my first awful, unexpected day at IOP. I loved to see you smile, your smile was contagious! I cannot believe you are gone! Love you friend!! We lost one of the most amazing people I have ever know, and Heaven received an angel!!!”
“Tia Franke, you were such a light and comforted me and so many others during our time in treatment together. I am devastated by the news of your passing and will never forget you. I miss you already, angel.”
“To the one & only most beautiful Tia Franke…
Remember when we would play the game “Essence” during group at ERC!?…
This is how I experienced your Essence:
– Your aura is a shimmering iridescent!
– Your smile lights up the world!
– If you were a bumper sticker it would read “Stay Charmin Strong”!
– Your preferred mode of transportation is by the wings of an angel!
– Your not so hidden talent is crocheting!
– If you were an article of clothing you would be an infinity scarf!
– If you were a party favor you would be a kazoo!
– If you were a Dr. Seuss book you would be “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”!
I am so lucky to know you & experience your kind heart & beautiful soul.
Until we meet again…
“Hearing the rain this evening has my heart feeling super heavy. Tia Franke, you were such an Angel in my life and helped me through some really dark moments I wasn’t confident I would get out of. You were the best roommate I could of asked for while in Colorado. I hope your resting easy Angel ”
“The world lost a beautiful soul.
This is unfair.
She fought so hard.
This world, my world will never be the same.
“Yesterday I received news that my dear friend, Tia Franke was taken from this earth far too soon. I can hardly believe it’s true…Tia, you were a Godsent through both of my stays at ERC. I will always remember your spot in the rocking chair, plotting ways to get a second cup of terrible coffee, your clever daily pines, our shared love for lulu, deep conversations in my room after HS snack, sitting in line together at the med window, bitching when the boys went over spa time in the morning, bonding over 90s fashion faux pas, your blue eyeliner, your contagious smile and laughter, drinking tea with you at your apartment while talking about our hopes and dreams, your loving bluntness when my ED was raging, and your kind, compassionate, and beautiful soul…
It was so evident that you continued to fight despite tremendous suffering and I am heartbroken that I couldn’t have done more to prevent this from happening. I find peace knowing that you are finally at peace and that ED no longer plagues your mind with his toxic lies. I am comforted in knowing that you are free of pain and suffering that held you captive for so many years. You were like a sister to me and I will forever cherish the memories we made together and hold them close to my heart. I hate Eating Disorders with my entire being and if you are struggling with an Eating Disorder, please, please, please reach out to me. I can’t keep losing people I love to this horrid disease. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family Tia during this difficult time. You will forever have a piece of my heart. ”
“Tia, I will never forget your beautiful presence and gentle soul. I’m so angry that anorexia has taken another person, far too soon. Rest In Peace, the suffering is over. You are inspiring so many to keep fighting for their lives ”
“Words cannot express the pain and heartache I’m feeling, Tia Frank. I remember the first day I came to treatment you were the first person to comfort and calm the anxiety of all this change. I remember you’re glimmering smile and contagious laugh , I hear it still lingering the halls of pine and you’re warm hugs and kind eyes seeping through the windows of my soul, momma tia is what we used to call you…you truly are a nurturer at heart. Yes I miss you, yes I’m mad that this disorder took you but I’m also aware that you’re not in pain anymore you’re at peace. It gives me more motivation to keep fighting it really opens up my eyes to how evil this Ed really is. I love you Keltia,
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
When you lose someone you love ,
You gain an angel that you know ”
“In the past decade, 17 friends lost to eating disorders, the most recent one being the beautiful Tia Franke. And I almost became a statistic as well. I was lucky enough to be a small percentage of those struggling to get treatments and help. I hope that one day, more people are able to have access to treatment and hope.”
“Tia Franke! Keltia (because you know how I love to use full names!). Nooooooo. No. No. No. No. You were sunshine. You are sunshine. This cannot be.
“I am shocked. I am speechless. This cannot be. Send your father my greetings- a man I never met but have no qualms revering based on your words.”
I may not have said it often enough, but you were a ray of light to guide me through some of my darker days. How you smiled and tried even when I knew that, inside, you were far from it. I treasure and will always treasure the intimate conversations we had after lights out. Whispering as I occasionally ducked out as lookout. In the Bonsai Cafe, how I loved sitting next to you or across you to get through some rather dramatic times. Our “late night” tea, glad another day was over. Starting what little shenanigans we could. Dragging you to our lovely group gatherings. Our matching Burberry specs! Our birthdays, so close; I will cherish the fact that we were able to spend them together last year.”
“I do not feel like I have fully accepted this yet. I cannot grasp the concept that your beautiful face, your bright smile, is not a video away; your soothing voice a call away; your precious hugs a flight away. It was mere weeks ago that you told me things were looking up. How my heart lifted, knowing you were finally beginning to get everything you have long deserved. No. You. were. right. there. I refuse.”
“Oh. This is that thing Elizabeth Kübler-Ross teaches us. Well, before I start more aggressive ranting, please take this haiku as a token of my love, respect, and veneration for the magnificent woman you were (on the day we made introductions- you having merely woken up and likely overwhelmed by me being my usual loud and vivacious), are (wherever that may be- free and at peace at last), and always will be (because I assure you that none of us girls will ever forget you)!
with her quiet grace,
absolved and released from pain,
“Tia Franke, I don’t even know where to begin…we were just talking the other day about our dreams, how much you loved your job and as always, encouraging me on my walk through pregnancy while fighting against ED. You were one of my first friends I made at treatment, you had such confidence and strength that radiated from you. We shared so many laughs, tears, inside jokes, and I couldn’t wait for you to meet my son my heart hurts as you were taken far too soon but rejoices that you are no longer in pain you are free my sweet friend ”
“Oh, Tia Franke, my heart just shattered I can’t believe you’re gone. When I think of you I remember about all the games you and I would play at ERC Evergreen and how just sweet, beautiful, soft spoken and funny you were we had a lot of laughs and were there for each other on the tough days. You and your family will be in my prayers and you in my heart and memory forever. Fuck this disease for taking you away but knowing the torture of it, I know you fought as hard as you could and I’m grateful for every second you got. You left an impact on me and many many people and I’m a better person after having the privilege of getting to know you. I love you beautiful lady. you can rest now, it was a hell of a fight.”
READ THOSE WORDS!
Read every single word. Every word defining the life of an incredible soul who brought strength, resolve and faith to so many others. Read those words.
To those so-called advocates who are still caught up in their own eating disorders, whose views, advice and advocacy are colored and overshadowed by their own pain … Read those words.
To those organizations who once espoused mighty ideals but who now embrace a dark path of self-righteousness, self-importance and exclusion … Read those words.
To those eating disorder professionals imprisoned by their own egos, inflated self-worth and fear … Read those words.
To those entities and persons who have embraced non-sensical theories and ideas out of their own self-loathing, political agenda and guilt … Read those words.
To those who wallow in the incredible dysfunctionality of the eating disorder industry, amongst its pettiness, its self-interest, its greed, its incompetence, its being infected by irrational, militant activists more interested in assuaging their own guilt and pain at the expense of others … Read those words.
Read those words. Because in doing so, you are not just reading those words. You are instead observing a life. A substantive life. A loving life. An inspirational life. A life which made a permanent, indelible marks on the hearts and souls of those who are still here. A life. An incredible life.
A life. Not a black life, nor a brown life, nor white, nor blue, nor any other color. For a life has no color. A life is incorporeal. A life is the very essence of who we are. A life defines not just us but the impact we leave on others. A life.
The eating disorder community and industry failed you Tia. We failed your incredible life. You are part of that Army of Warrior Angels. But make no mistake, we failed you.
Tia, you are not a statistic. You never will be. You are a life. A life that lives on in each of those persons who knew you, who you inspired, whose lives you filled with hope, strength and faith.
Tia, you are not mere words.
You are a life.
An incredible, endearing, strong, inspirational life.