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Who knew that with just one two sentence text, your whole day could go from bright and sunny to dark and stormy? It was Wednesday, November 26, 2008. It was a very cold night. We all had jeans and sweatshirts on with the heater in the car on high. My family was taking a trip to see my aunt and uncle in Sunriver, Oregon for Thanksgiving. I was so excited to see them. Then, I got a text that ruined everything. All my excitement turned into sadness. The text was from Courtney. She was crying and very upset.
“Chels, Hanna is in the hospital,” she explained. “They found her under water in the bathtub, passed out. She’s in a coma.” I couldn’t believe it. I’ve known Hanna since I was little. I just could not grasp the fact that she was almost gone. I wanted to cry, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody, so I just held my tears and acted normal in front of my parents. That’s when everything got worse. I cried all night long.
The next morning I got another text from Courtney. She told me that Hanna was on life support and only had a forty percent chance of living. I once again held back my tears. I couldn’t believe that she was about to die, but I had to keep telling Courtney that everything would be fine. Hanna and I were great friends when we were little; we played on the same softball team, and we always talked and had a great time together. After she went into middle school we grew apart. I would see her in the hall sometimes, but we were definitely not as close as once before. I hadn’t talked to her in a long time, and now she was almost gone and I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
I went on with my Thanksgiving Day just hoping that she would be okay. But then I got the last text. She was gone. I couldn’t act normal anymore. As much as I tried, I was upset, and everybody knew it. I finally broke down and told my dad. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Dad… Hanna’s gone…” I sobbed. He didn’t understand what I meant.
“What do you mean she’s gone?” he asked.
“She’s dead. She died this afternoon. They just took her off life support and made it official. She’s gone.” His eyes got wide, his mouth dropped.
“You mean softball Hanna?”
“Yes,” I answered, “she’s gone dad. She’s really gone.” I dug my head into his chest and cried harder. He put his hand on my back and told me everything would be alright, but I knew that it wasn’t alright. She was gone and there wasn’t anything anybody could do about it. My cousins, who were seven and four years old, kept asking what was wrong. They didn’t understand what was going on.
“Her friend died guys,” my uncle explained.
Finally my mom and aunt came home from their walk. They came in and saw me lying on my dad’s chest crying and asked what happened. I tried to explain, but I was so chocked up, and telling the story again just devastated me even more. It made me cry harder than before. No matter how many times I said it, I still couldn’t believe it. She was gone. Only a freshman in high school, and she was gone. The rest of the trip was tough. I just wanted to get home and be with my friends, but I knew I had to stay and finish my trip with my family. So I tried my hardest to be happy and not let it get to me so much. I cried every night, but during the day I was able to hold my tears.
They set a date for her funeral. My mom said that we would leave a day early if the funeral was before we got back, but luckily it was after we got home, so we didn’t have to leave early. It was a rough couple of days, but we all made it through.
My dad took me to her funeral. It was very sad. They talked about her life, the choir sang, and everybody cried. It was so hard to believe, still, that she was gone. They also talked about how she was very faithful in her religion which, I think, really helped everybody, knowing that she was going to heaven. It definitely helped me a lot.
I really hope to see her again someday. I am also very religious and do what I can to stay faithful in my religion, hoping that I will go to heaven and see her again. It is still very hard knowing that she’s gone, but at the same time, I know that she is in a much better place, and hopefully someday I will see her again.