The most painful thing that I have learned so far would have to be learning how to let go of someone you’ve lost, I have never experienced death before in a family or a friend until this summer. I hoped that this day would never come, hoping times would never change, when in reality we all know that it will someday and that I can’t hide forever. School just began and it started like any normal Sunday. I did my hair and got ready for Sunday school. I never liked the uniform so I would always alter it a little by wearing my own Abercrombie button up with a sweater over so that it would look more fitting. When I got to church I was greeted by the priest and my friends as always, but when I sat down I noticed the awkward faces all around me. I was expecting my teacher to begin her usual lecture on faith, but the classroom was never the same when she started talking. We learned that on Friday our classmate, my friend, Nhan Nguyen, had past away walking home from school on federal when an elderly woman, who was not suppose to be driving due to her disease, snuck out of the nursing home and lost control of the wheel. Nhan was dragged about two blocks when the car hit a tree, he didn’t have time to gasp for air or even say goodbye. Nhan died on the way to the hospital. Everyone was speechless and I didn’t know how to react. It felt so unreal. I felt like it was all just a joke and he was going to walk through the big wooden door any second now and sit two seats from me like always. It was the first funeral I ever attended. The day of the funeral every student was wearing their full uniform to support Nhan. Even people that didn’t know him came to support him. Sitting in the cold and stiff wooden benches was the worst feeling I have ever had giving me Goosebumps that ran all over my body. There wasn’t a moment during mass that I stopped thinking about everything that he and his family would be missing out on. At the end of the funeral something surprising happened. Before Nhan died he had told his parents that if this day ever came he didn’t want people to bring flowers to his funeral but books so that it can be donated to the children’s hospital. Its just disappointing that Nhan had to lose his life to teach everyone at my church how important it is to be kind to someone even the people you don’t get along with because you never know when they’re gone so treat everyday like its your last. It taught us how important life is. Everyone’s talking about wanting to die or wishing they were never born when Nhan didn’t even have a choice whether to keep his or not. I am grateful for this experience because it has taught me to appreciate and look at life in a different perspective. The tree down on federal near Lincoln high school is still decorated with new flowers everyday. I like going there and leaving my regards on the tree for Nhan, before I was scared that the tree would just hurt me more, reminding over and over again that he was gone until I got the courage one day to light a candle near the tree. By lighting a candle I wanted Nhan to know that I still remember and care about him. What really helped me recover was when I realized and accepted the fact that Nhan was gone, and regretting everything I didn’t do with him or for him wasn’t getting me anywhere. I might have lost a friend but I’ve also gained an Angel.
December 5, 2007