When Reality Hits


Natalie Dearman, Staff Writer

Sometimes, friends grow apart. Separation is a normal part of growing up. We tend to forget that we are not invincible, and our loved ones and closest friends could disappear at any given moment. Although we are young and this may just be high school, we have to realize that our friends mean more to us than we know. We tend to take for granted how often we get to see them, or how easily we can contact them.

Everything I thought I knew changed on February 21. Grief is never something I had truly experienced, having only been to the funerals of distant relatives I never knew, invoking no true emotion. I’ve experienced sadness like anyone else, but never in my life, before that Tuesday night, had I experienced true loss and devastation.

Nightmares can be quite vivid, but you get to wake up, relieved those bad things did not actually happen, and move on with your life. I thought that I was simply growing apart from a friend, a friend I would often reunite with. I thought, “let me just focus on myself for now.” I have the rest of my life to send her a text and to see her again.

That’s what I thought.

I like to describe this as a nightmare, because it’s so difficult to believe something like that could happen. But everyday, I continue to live in this nightmare, and I have yet to wake up.

One of my closest friends, appearing to be the happiest out of all them, passed away. I never thought that someone so close to me, a few months younger than me, could die. I never got to say goodbye, or tell her how much she meant to me.

It’s extremely difficult to process the fact that, she will never graduate high school, go to college, have her first kiss, or see her family or friends ever again.

Someone so smart, so talented, always smiling.

You cry, and cry, and cry. You get angry, you laugh at how ridiculous you feel your life has become. You even wonder, why couldn’t it have been me? Not someone so young, intelligent, beautiful, kind, always laughing.

You never know what could become of your dearest friends.

One moment there, the next gone.

So stop waiting, text them, ask them to hang out, or rekindle a distant friendship.

And remember to tell your friends you love them; it may be the last thing they hear from you.