I've mentioned this before, but this is so applicable today: bloggers get to show you a facet of their lives. I can choose what you see about me. If I wanted to, I could only show you the good things and have you believe that I have the most perfect, wonderful life. But that isn't true. No one's life is perfect or without suffering. And recently, my friends, family, and I have been going through the suffering ringer.
Last Friday night, I found out that a girl from my hometown passed away. She was a grade above me. One second she was alive and the next she wasn't. Her passing has rocked my hometown of 4,400 people to its very foundation. She was beautiful. Everyone thought so. Even though I wasn't very close to her growing up, she was kind. Junior year of high school, she bandaged my hand after I cut it on another girl's teeth during a fight. I didn't even have to ask. I remember her being funny. The people around her were always laughing with her. She lived so much life. This afternoon, I found out a friend of mine from college passed away. He was 27. He had a wife and kids. He was always happy. His smile lit up a room and any time he saw me, I could count on him to yell, "AAAAACEEEEE BOOGIE!" and run to hug me. He was so smart. He could infuriate you while playing devil's advocate and validate your wildest theories with facts. He was a jokester. He just wanted to make people smile, even better, laugh. He lived so much life. And now they're both gone. Too soon. Too unprepared. And we're left asking too many questions. The most prevalent being: "why did this happen?" Answered with a most unsatisfying: "I don't know." My heart hurts for my friends gone too soon. Hurts for their families, for their friends, for anyone they touched with their lives. And this hurt is not going to go away. This pain is heavy and it will not get easier. Our communities-my hometown, my college family-we need time to grieve. Time to internalize these tragedies. Time to cry and kick and scream. Time to ask "why?" This pain is heavy and it will not get easier. But we will get stronger. Everyday that we wake up and make it through another day, we are stronger. And we owe it to our friends to live in a way that will honor their lives. To be beautiful, kind, funny, happy, smart, and strong.