I realize this is a break from what I normally write about, but it’s a pretty big deal to me, so I need to share it.
I found out Monday night that two friends of mine from high school (22 and 21) were killed in an auto accident on Sunday night, on their way back to KU.
For those who didn’t know Jake and Stephanie, they were probably some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. I don’t think I ever heard anyone every say anything bad about them, because they never gave you reason to. They were kind, funny and friendly to everyone. While I wasn’t super close with them, I wish I had been closer. They were truly great people.
They dated for seven years and were talking about getting engaged. They were together a lot, and seemed to bring out even more great points about each other, but they never left those around them feeling left out. As much of a cynic as I am, I believe that they had a true love that could and will endure anything, even death.
Their deaths enrage me for a number of reasons. They were so young and had such a great future ahead of them. But that was taken away from them in an instant, in a way they never could’ve avoided. They had no fault in the matter whatsoever.
I think one of the hardest things for me to deal with is Stephanie’s Facebook. On Saturday, she posted that things were changing too fast, that everything just needed to stop for awhile. On Monday, this previously humorous status took on a very grim light.
She also posted a note in March, relaying a poem she wanted read at her funeral “in a hundred years or so”. When I read that, it brought tears to my eyes. I know that everyone that knew them wished it could have been a hundred years from now.
One of my few solaces in all this is that at least they went together. I can’t imagine the pain if one had died and the other survived. As cheesy as it sounds, it has been proven possible- I think the other would’ve died of a broken heart.
My mom and I talked about this on Skype on Monday night, right after I found out. I cried. A lot. I told my host mom what had happened and she held me and made me tea. Poor Angelina didn’t understand why I was crying so hard. At three, she can’t really be expected to understand the concept of death. She first asked me if I had a tummy ache, then if I had gotten a shot, and then if I fell down. She brought me a napkin and tried to wipe the tears out of my eyes. When she saw on the video chat that my mom was crying too, she tried to wipe her tears away as well. Granted, it was with a tissue she had just blown her nose on, but the intention was still precious. She brought me tiny smiles in a time of so much crying.
It was really hard for both me and my mom, with me being here during this time. I want so badly to be there to give my condolences in person, to be able to mourn surrounded by those who are also in mourning. I wish I could be there to hold and try to comfort my friends, who I know are hurting tremendously. I know it’s hard on my mom, because she wants to comfort me, put her arms around me and draw comfort from one another. But, as that’s not possible right now, I’m relying on those close to me here and the internet to provide my comfort. And, honestly, though it’s still not the same as being there, it is more helpful than I could’ve imagined. My host mom told me to tell my mother not to worry about me, that I was her (my host mom’s) daughter and she would take care of me as such. And she has. Everyone I’ve talked to, both around here and back in the states has been incredibly supportive and there for me in so many ways.
It’s so hard getting used to the idea of them being gone. Before I came to Costa Rica, Stephanie was one of the only people who would respond to my Facebook statuses in Spanish. Even though it wasn’t a regular thing, I have to remind myself that she’s not going to comment on them again. It’s just hard to grasp that they’re gone, and that that’s not going to change. I know I’m not the only one struggling with this, and I know it’s much worse for others who were closer to them.
I wish things like this didn’t happen. It seems so unjust that such great people could have their lives cut so short, in a way so random and without purpose.
The funeral is tomorrow. I know there will be many in attendance, because these two were so loved. I wish I could be there.
Even though I don’t know if any of you will read this, I want to give special thanks to Michael, for his bravery tomorrow. I know you’ll do great hon, and I know it will bring you and many others a lot of peace. I also want to thank Eric and all the others who have been and will continue to be there for Michael, Becky, Michaela, and all the other family and friend members who are in so much pain right now.
I called this entry Recuerdo de Amor as a reminder not only of the love they had for each other, but of the love they showed everyone they encountered.
I may update this more tomorrow, as thoughts continue rolling into my head.
Here’s to Jake and Steph. Their bodies may not be here, but they’re not gone. They will never leave us.