Texas woman who read in major newspapers that she died disagrees: "I am alive"

A 39-year-old therapist in Austin might need some therapy herself after reading in several newspapers that she had died. Especially since the source of the falsehood sprang from her own parents.

Alicia Rowe found out she was dead after Googling her parents, who she hadn't spoken to in six years. Her parents were being sued by their homeowners association for feeding ducks, which was against the HOA rules, but Rowe's mother said feeding the birds was a therapeutic way to cope with "losing" her only child – Alicia.

After the Daily Mail first ran the story last July, many other publications — including The Washington Post, USA Today, and Business Insider — picked up on the story and ran with it, interpreting "losing" their daughter the way most would interpret it: their daughter had died. But Rowe disagrees, arguing, "The message is just that, like, I am alive."

From The Washington Post:

News outlets from around the world, including The Washington Post, reported the story. Most, if not all, reported the same thing: The Rowes had moved to the Lakeland Village development about a decade earlier, and Kathleen fed the ducks soon after as a way to cope with the death of their only child.

Alicia was that only child — and was very much alive.

"At first I was stunned," she said.

Rowe read article after article reporting her death — in The Post, the Houston ChronicleHuffPostUSA Today and Business Insider, to name a few. …

To clear things up, the reporter, R.A. Schuetz [of the Houston Chronicle], once again contacted the Rowes' attorney, according to her story in the Chronicle, which published Jan. 30. The lawyer then contacted Kathleen [Rowe's mother]. She said that, when she told him she had "lost" her daughter, she meant they had become estranged, not that she had died.

Schuetz reviewed her interview with Kathleen and noticed she'd always phrased her grief in terms of "losing" or having "lost" her daughter without explicitly saying she had died or even "passed," the reporter said on an episode of the Chronicle's podcast "Looped In," on which she discusses reporting the Rowes' story.