Today marks one year since loss of one of my best friends and greatest role models. One year ago today, she took her own life and forever changed so many lives. I remember with amazing clarity that day. Getting the phone call and in turn letting all of our friends now. Crying as I sat with my wife and son. Friends coming over and mourning with us.
She was one of my dearest friends in undergrad and there are few memories from those four years that don’t have her in them. She was in the crew that hung out nearly every weekend. She came to my hometown with friends during our first spring break. I talked with her on how to propose to my wife. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding. And she gave my oldest son his nickname while he was in the womb.
More importantly, she was one of my most influential role models. She was the one in the group who always had her shit together. She was the most organized and disciplined and without fail, she always had her work done when the rest of us were struggling with procrastination. There’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t encounter some situation and ask myself “What would she do?” Or rather, now, “What would she have done?” I miss her very much, more than words can say.
There are few people I’ve met in my life who have had such a profound effect on my life. And fewer still who have earned my trust and respect to the point I’d call them a brother or sister. She was one of those people and I will never forget her.
Part of life is loss. But it’s hard to lose the people we love. I would hope to impart a message to all those people who struggle with mental health and suicidal thoughts. I strongly urge you to stop for a moment. Think of all the people you influence on a daily basis. Think of those people who love you. Even if it seems like they don’t exist, they do. You have someone who looks up to you and undoubtedly many who would miss you when you are gone. Many who would cry themselves to sleep without you around.Know that you are supported. You are loved. You would be missed and missed dearly.
I’d give nearly anything to spend time with my sister again. To laugh and joke with her. To see her smile and hear her voice giving me some piece of much needed advice at just the right time. You never know how important someone truly is until they are gone. So cherish every moment and every memory.
Rest in peace, my friend and sister.