Bad things happen to good people. There’s no warning, nothing. Things just happen. Too many people are lost in our lifetimes that shouldn’t be gone. Over this past year, it seems that the lives of people close to us are being ripped away. But death happens everywhere. We think we have our entire lives ahead of us. “We’re young, we have time left.” But life doesn’t work that way. Your life can be ended in an instant. It doesn’t take very much to kill us; we’re not invincible. We don’t have a shield of protection. We’re mortal.
It’s crazy how an entire community can come together for the loss of one individual. One person who could’ve thought they didn’t mean anything. They could’ve had their whole life set out for them, they had places to go, people to meet. Even those who never had the opportunity to meet this person are affected by the news of the death. They see pictures and hear all the great things that person did and how loved they were. And you feel like you knew that person. And it hurts that much more. You imagine yourself in the position of a parent, a sibling, a significant other receiving this news. You imagine the pain that they’re going through. Accidents always suck. They could’ve been avoided; someone could’ve done something to prevent it. A miracle could’ve happened and that person could’ve made it out. But life isn’t about miracles and happiness and things going exactly according to plan. And when something as tragic as a teenager being killed in an accident occurs, it has a great effect on the community. Classmates remember how that person acted every day and every word they said. Teachers recall the times they’ve gotten to see what kind of person their student was. It’s hard to imagine that that silly kid with a huge smile on his face that always made class a little bearable is gone.
I didn’t know Wyatt, Sean, or Logan. I had never come across them in my life. All three of them were in high school, had passions, ambitions, friends, family; they had a life. But now they don’t. It happened out of the blue, so unexpected. Wyatt had a passion for snowboarding. People say he was fun to be around and they really enjoyed his company. He was a sweet guy and well loved. Sean had a sense of humor and wisdom about the world that everyone admired. He wanted to enjoy life and he once wrote in an English paper that people should stop paying attention to less important things because there’s always someone who needs help. Logan was equally beloved by people. He skateboarded and was an aspiring cinematographer. His passing brought on the greatest reaction I have ever seen. Hundreds of students that attended his school wore bucket hats and Hawaiian shirts to remember him and a memorial was set up on the street corner where the accident happened. News of his death spread like wildfire as his friends set out to try and raise money to build a skate park in his name. Logan’s favorite rapper was trying to fly down to have a concert and all proceeds would go toward the park. Thousands signed a petition and people on the other side of the country were tweeting about him. These three boys died young, but they made such an impact on the people around them. They were loved and their passings brought about grief from friends, families, teachers, and even people like me who never had the privilege of meeting them. What’s sad is they aren’t the only people to die at such a young age, nor will they be the last. If one positive thing were to come out of this, it’s that the community was brought together. When you lose someone in your life they don’t have to be gone forever; they’re alive in your memories. They’re in your thoughts and prayers. Remember them whenever you can; do things in their name. Do something so they’re never forgotten. Unfortunately, bad things happen, but you have to respond in a way that can help others learn from these experiences. Take something from what’s happened and apply it to your own life.
Following news of a loved one’s death, people usually say how thankful they are for the people in their lives. Someone’s death shouldn’t be a reason to finally tell someone how much you care about them or that they’re important. People should be appreciated while they’re still alive so that when their time comes, they know they’re going to be missed. After they’re gone, it’s too late to tell them how much you love them. Life doesn’t have an exact time limit. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Tell people how you feel as much as possible and spread positivity. Get over your grudges and stop being childish because you’ll regret it some day. We don’t expect people to die so suddenly, but it happens. I wish that people were more aware of how fragile they are and how easily life can be taken away. It shouldn’t come down to a child’s death for people to come together as a community and tell each other “I love you.” Once people come to terms and accept the death, it’ll go back to the cycle of not appreciating people. Don’t make it a once in a while thing; tell others how you feel as often as possible because, sadly, you don’t know how much you have left with them.