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Laura Embree-Lowry
Aug 16, 2023
In Share Your Memory
I was lucky to meet Tessa when I began working at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Her professional talents were abundant, and I was always impressed by her poise and expertise whenever she reported on the life-changing work she and her colleagues were doing through the Immigration Justice Campaign. She was also just one of the greatest coworkers ever, a clear and direct communicator who approached all workplace collaboration with warmth and gratitude for what others were contributing. We were engaged in important, high-stakes work that could sometimes be stressful. But working with Tessa would erase any stress and was always a reminder that together we could achieve our goals and make a difference. Professional accolades aside, the first thing that came to mind when I learned she passed away was her warm and welcoming personality. Simply bumping into her in the break room or briefly riding the same elevator as her were refreshing and energizing moments during a long workday. More often than not, we made small talk or shared corny office jokes, but Tessa exuded something that turned even these mundane exchanges into genuine, human connections. And in more serious moments where I might candidly tell her about a life stressor I was experiencing, her warmth and open heart offered some relief just by her listening and making me feel validated and heard. While working with Tessa, I didn't know about her past health battles, and I hadn't been in touch with her recently, so I didn't know her cancer had come back. We were friendly coworkers, not best friends. But since another coworker told me she had passed away, I have reflected on the impact she had on me during the brief intersection of our lives. As is beautifully described in her obituary, the ripple effect of Tessa's life is vast. I treasure that we crossed paths and hope to honor her by sharing the light she shone on me with others. I send my sincerest condolences, along with wishes for strength and continued light, to Tessa's family, close friends, and all those who knew her.
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Laura Embree-Lowry

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