One year ago today, a close friend of mine passed away at the young age of 17.
It feels strange to say that it’s been a year since she has roamed this earth. That for 12 months, 52 weeks, 4 seasons, 365 days… She has been a memory.
They say that childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. One day, we wake up and go about our day, not knowing that everything will change in one instant. It isn’t your elderly grandparents that will teach you what Death means; it will be someone who’s demise you never could have prepared for. It will never be fair.
It was June 24, 2016, when my childhood ended and my first relationship with grief began. Everything has been different since then.
It feels strange to know someone so well, and have them be a memory. I remember every little detail about her. I remember her voice and her laughter, I remember all her favorite dance moves and the way she played with her hair. I remember her cold, blue eyes and her warm, deep smile. I remember so many little moments I shared with her, where she was comforting and kind to others, and uplifted everyone around her. She was wise beyond anyone’s years. She was intuitive. When she lost her life, life lost her.
I have learned that death is seldom kind. Death is not patient. The world isn’t patient, either. It’s in small moments that I realize all the things death has taken from her. Death has taken away laughter, warmth, and sunlight. Because of Death, she will never listen to music, she will never be embraced, she will never feel love from others ever again. She will never look up at the stars, she will never sip coffee and watch the sun rise. She will never sit around a fire, or listen to the waves bombard the shore.
I could sit here and write about the horrible way her life ended, but I don’t want her to be remembered by her terrible ending. She was a kind, loving, beautiful person. She could conceal her emotions so well, and put on a front for those around her. Every time we hung out together, it was an adventure. It didn’t matter where we were going, she lived in a magical world where she couldn’t sit still. She dreamt of seeing the world and checking all these little things off her bucket list. Things like living in the city, and meeting her role models, and going to concerts. She lived every single moment like it would be her last.
One of my favorite memories of her was when she came to Cape Cod to spend a few days with me over the summer. She had this dream of going surfing, and when she saw my paddleboard sitting on the beach, she was beyond excited. The weather was crap, it was grey and gloomy outside, but we put our swim suits on and went out there anyway. She fell in, over and over again, because she couldn’t balance. She laughed and laughed. We sat on the board, out in the water, and talked for ages. It was so quiet that week out on the river, it felt like we were the only two people in the world. It’s one of my favorite memories I shared with her.
Her death has taught me that life is not about the cards we’re dealt, but how we choose to play our hand. We cannot choose the things that happen to us, but we can make things happen for us. Life is truly about the choices you make. Your journey is defined by how you come back from tragedies.
So, in honor of my good friend who is no longer with us, I encourage you to appreciate your loved ones, especially those who need it most. I encourage you to stand beside people who don’t always make it easy on you. I encourage you to do something you enjoy, and appreciate all the little moments that make each day so special and beautiful.
Rest easy, gorgeous girl. I’m still thinking about you every day. ♥︎
– I found a post written by Baby Boy Bakery that describes loss beautifully, and I thought I would include it in this post. You can find it here. –