At no point in a lifetime, is death an easy concept to grasp. I am only 24 years young, but I would guess that it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. Death is frighteningly all around us, but only affects us immediately every so often. Everyone has their own experience and story of a life that touched theirs so dearly, that it stung so harshly when they left us.
My first experience with death was my great grandmother. I was young, and I don’t remember much of her funeral. I remember thinking she looked like she was sleeping. I remember something being off about the mini sandwiches. And I remember it feeling like a really long time helping clean out her house. Young, worried about snack time and playing outside.
Elementary school. My next memory is a going to a wake of a friend’s grandfather. Also young, understanding death, but not it’s finality. Hard to watch a friend in pain.
High school, someone close to me. My own grandmother. She had struggled with many health issues, and although it didn’t make losing her any easier, we could find comfort in knowing she was now free of pain. Our lives and worlds changed, but time ticked on.
Junior year. A close friend, taken suddenly in a car accident. Being so young, this really was earth shattering. Up until now my experience with death were those who have lived long lives, had children. But someone my age, a friend, a friend you have texts with from the week before in your phone, just gone? It was confusing, it hurt, it still hurts, we will never understand why.
I’m in college now. My ex boyfriend’s mother. We were still together at the time, someone I once thought would eventually be my mother-in-law. Someone who shared their iced tea and sunflower seeds with me while we watched summer baseball games. Cancer. This loss was a different kind of pain, the pain of seeing someone you love in so much pain.
I wake up to a phone call, states away. It can’t be true, another friend gone too soon. Someone who is scattered throughout your high school memories. The friend who pops up on your Facebook Memories, in your pictures, statuses, a constant reminder he was always there. Suicide.
Out of college. Time ticks forward, their memory lives on. Grief comes in waves over the years. Some days it sprinkles, some it pours, and some days shine so bright, feeling the warmth of their memories.
It can’t be. I don’t believe you.. I met him for the first time, December of 2017. We all hung out at his place, the usual place to be. I was the only girl, observing, thinking to myself, boys in Mexico are just like boys at home, just want to listen to music and play video games, and think it’s so much fun. My boyfriend’s close friend. So many afternoons and evenings spent at the hotel, hanging out with the boyfriend and his banda. Friends making memories. Someone who was always there, whether we were at the beach, out downtown, or just parking our moto at his place. His helmet he lent to us to drive home from the beach, still hanging in our room. My heart breaks for the pain someone I love is feeling right now, and everyone close to him. His aunt, brother, sister, dad, mom. Standing in his room one last time. Tears.
Death is so terrifying. No one knows what happens next. It is so final. It is a jolting reminder to cherish every morning you open your eyes. To hold those you love close while you can. To be thankful for the memories you share, with those are no longer with us. They will live on forever in the minds of their loved ones and the stories we tell, until we too get to join them in paradise.
You will be so missed, 19 years was surely not enough.
Rest in paradise Eleazar – “Patas”