A Letter to Jack | Teen Ink

A Letter to Jack

May 9, 2019
By Anonymous

Sometimes, it takes tragedy and devastation to come to terms with all aspects of the life you lead. I'm not saying one should have to go through something this to understand what one is doing wrong, however, it did help me reflect, build, and grow. It starts by looking back on memories you didn’t even know you retained or lengthy conversations you forgot ever had in the first place. You start to recognize your faults such as how many times you blew off your family to hang with your friends, the way you treated people because others also treated them poorly, or the ignorant and costly actions people around you did because they thought it made them more likable, more cool. The worst part is that though people grieved for you and talked about “how tragic” “how devastating” and “how unexpected” your death was, they refuse to change their ways. I hope you, as am I, are at peace and I know everyday you are watching over all of us.

It was during Mardi Gras break when you died. I had left school early that friday in order to beat parade traffic and hesitatingly, received the news. It was the strangest feeling of disbelief and unacceptance in my entire life. I hadn’t talked to you much within the last year but you were one of those crucial side characters in my life who I’d run into at a Walgreens at way too early in the morning, see you at formals and briefly have a dance off, or run into you at a mutual friend’s house and discuss our dogs, Natasha, or Reed. We had all seen you thursday on the parade route laughing, dancing, and smiling; there was just no possible way you were actually gone. That night on the parade route, everyone was silent. Instead of the normal screaming, jumping, and way-too-overly-excited approach that one was usually welcomed by, everyone would grab my arm, look at me with a worried and distraught look, and then hug me for comfort. Everyone everywhere was constantly consoling one another, or  talking about seeing you thursday night, or exchanging stories that embodied what you were in every way. Stories about how you used to hide behind bushes and scare people, stories about how you almost lit the house on fire from making a flaming marshmallow gun, or stories about your quirky fashion sense that consisted of strictly hockey jerseys, hawaiian shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies. You meant a lot to people who didn’t even know you, and so much more to the people you did. You were always polite, kind, witty, and quick to send a meme to anyone who needed a rise in spirits. You were the epitome of friendship, loyalty, and genuinity and you won’t ever be forgotten.

 Your funeral was a different type of emotion. I didn’t think I would crying that I hadn’t yet, but it wasn’t until that day that it all became clear to me that we were never going to see you again. It was weird seeing your friend group without you, especially as your pallbearers. A lot of people spoke about memories of you in school, silly shows you would put on as a child, and family moments between you and your sisters. I’ve never seen so many faces smiling and crying simultaneously at the delightful memories of you and the thought of never again being able to make more. You were so loved by everyone around you: teachers, classmates, co-workers, friends, and family. Your dad told us you didn’t suffer and it gave us peace knowing you were able to leave this Earth as happy as you came. Your mother told us not to be strangers and promised us that you were in a better place. The fact that she was able to console us at a time like this truly gave me hope that you were in good hands. I hope that you found everything that you were looking for and we will forever miss you.

 Knowing now how easily someone’s presence can be forever gone from your life so young, I’ve learned to live everyday with the least amount of regrets. If I want to do something, I do everything in my power to try to do it. If someone wants to talk or hang out, I make time to spend time with them. I try to be kinder, more motivated, more helpful, more compassionate, and more understanding, in the case that something does happen, I hope I am able to find peace in the life I had lived. Jack was such an inspiration in every aspect of the word, from being a brother, friend, supporter, and companion to so many. Jack lived his life everyday making the most of what the world gave him and that is all I could hope to accomplish in my own life.

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