The death of a young person really puts life into perspective.
I’m sitting here in my living room with the lights turned off because I cannot afford to pay expensive hydro bills. The darkness that fills the room leaves me clenching my eyeballs trying to hold back tears. I saw a friend from high school in a casket just a few hours ago. Twenty-One years old, my age, already dead. As a child, I always believed young people were never supposed to die. I think a lot of people still live with that mentality.
We plan our lives and goals assuming we have more time. All my dreams will come true in the future. But what future do we have? As saddest as I sound, life can be snatched from you at any second. Have you lived your life to the fullest? I know I haven’t.
Even in death Simon had the most positive energy illuminating from his casket.
In his Final Testament (a document Simon wrote before he passed), he wrote that he created an immobilization of ideas and memories he wants to ripple forward after he dies. I want the same to be true for my life after I die.
Luckily (and unluckily depending on how you look at it) there is no “countdown clock” ticking away the time we have left on this Earth. I am a big believer that our body is a vessel that holds our soul for a given period of time. But, what I fear the most is being forgotten. I want to positively influence each person I meet while living on Earth. I want my eternal energy to live on in people once my body decomposes.
As I placed my trembling hand on the casket of a fellow friend, I promised him that his uplifting energy and illuminating presence will never die. I will live each one of my days the same way Simon had. I will be kind to every living being that I meet. In my darkest times, I will fight negativity, disease, and failure with a bright smile on my face.
The death of a young person really puts life into perspective. Live out your dreams, your passions, and aspirations while you are alive. Be kind, be positive, and be bright.
I thought about you everyday.
You were the first thought I had when I woke up in the morning. You were the last thought I had before I went to sleep.
Wherever I went, you were on my mind. I would walk through a store and imagine outfits I might wear when we are together. I would plan what club, restaurant, or bar I went to in hopes that I would run into you there.
I would imagine scenarios of us in my head. You in bed with me. You at this party. You having dinner with my family. None of these scenarios ever played out.
When you would message me, I would get butterflies. When we would hang out, I lived in the moment with you. And when you would leave, I would think about the next time we would be together.
I thought about you everyday. Until one day, I didn’t.
I was out living my life. Out, thinking about me. Then, I felt as if I was missing something. I felt so whole. I felt so clear-headed.
Then it hit me, I stopped thinking about you. I wasn’t missing you anymore. You were no longer part of my everyday thoughts and routines.
I felt a little uneasy about this new feeling. This new life, which you were not apart of.
And then, I started thinking about you again. But this time, it was because I knew it would be the last.
Upon finishing three full years at Western University, I decided to write a letter to the school itself. Three years ago, this was my dream school. I was an excited, ambitious, and courageous 18-year old, ready to start my new life at a university I was already in love with. I experienced such difficulties and regrets throughout my three years attending Western. But, none of these ever had to do with the school itself. I often thought how great it would be if I could drag the school, and my wonderful program back to my hometown, Toronto, with me. I can’t believe my journey at Western has already ended. And how it ended way too soon. Maybe I’ll go back and write a thesis, maybe I’ll go back and take a few easy and interesting classes I never got to enrol in while I was a student there. But for now, Here is a thank you letter to the University of Western Ontario.
Thank you Western for opening up my eyes. For showing me that identities can be questioned, changed, and shattered. My white-washed, heteronormative, patriarchal lens has been broken. I thank you. I thank you for showing me the people I knew existed, but never got to see. I thank you for making me even question me. For showing me that life doesn’t exist in binaries and that conforming is totally lame. For showing me love, and challenging me with hate. For giving me fake friends, and a few real ones. For making me cry. Oh, how you made me cry. I don’t think I ever shed a tear before university. My highest highs and my lowest lows were spent here. Because of you Western, I am the person I am today. Because of you Western, I will be able to face any challenge that comes my way.