Shock, sadness and confusion inadequately describe how I’m feeling.
Thinking back on some of my favorite memories from middle school and high school, you were there. The awkwardness of middle school, the self-discovery of high school… you were there for it all. Even though we lost touch like most people do after high school, that doesn’t numb the pain I feel now that you are gone.
I remember when you moved down the street from me. Being the “new kid” in school didn’t seem to phase you- your personality drew everyone to you. Throughout middle school and high school, we were in the same classes. You, always arguing for your opinion so intelligently and passionately, that even if you were wrong, no one cared as much as you did to try and counter. I remember, more than a few times, you even got us some extra points on our tests!
When you had your accident senior year, our entire English class gave you a standing ovation when you returned to school. We were so proud of you for coming back stronger than ever. In that same English class, you gave the most hilarious and inspiring TED Talk for your final project.
The small memories run on. The inevitable doorbell ring with you standing there, ready to sell my mom the football team fundraiser coupons (she could never say no, “He is just so nice and polite!”). The funny field trip memories. The engaging class presentations. Random moments from the school bus. Simple waves as we passed each other, driving through our neighborhood.
In the strange age of social media, we inevitably go through our Facebook feeds, desperately trying to cling to memories. I’m so thankful I found this:
I hope you knew how much you were loved. By your family. By your close friends. By your peers. I hope you knew how much you inspired everyone who met you.
Take care, Kyle. I hope you have found a place where there is no more pain, only joy and love.