About a week or so ago, a girl from my high school died in a car accident. Her name was Erica. She was 19. She was a sophomore at Grand Valley. I never knew Erica, but a lot of my friends from high school knew her, loved her, and were friends with her.
Yes, people in my life have died over the years. I've often heard people say that it was unfair for someone to die, yet I never seemed to grasp the full meaning of that: the unfairness of death. Maybe it was wrong of me to say that, but it is how I always felt. I felt people died for a reason or it was simply their time to leave Earth.
How is it, then, that this one beautiful girl whom I have never met, never talked to, never even knew of before her death has made me realize this? The week after she died, I couldn't help but think about her everyday, to wonder how her family, friends, and everyone she touched was able to go on without her. I thought a lot that week, about how precious life is, how important it is to love one another, be kind to one another, and how easily our lives can be taken away.
I never knew Erica. But I've heard a lot about her in the past two weeks: she was happy. She was funny, clever, a good friend, a good listener. She was beautiful. She was smart, full of life, and lit up the room when she walked in it.
This whole thing has made me wonder about people and get angry at a few of them. Life is so precious, why would you ever put it at risk and intentionally hurt your body? Why are people so hurtful towards others sometimes, or argue about things that don't even matter? Why do people judge others, worry about their looks, their weight, their image, and what other people think about them? Why can't we all just openly love and appreciate each other without reservation?
Yes, I know this all sounds very hippie-esque or even naive, but it's true. And it's sad that it takes an innocent life to realize all of these things. We waste a lot of our time with inconsequential worries and preoccupations. It is sad that these things weigh us down and sometimes keep us from truly living.
I never met Erica, but from knowing her through others, I'm going to try to live a little more, to let go of things that bother me. Because there is no point to it. At all. I'm pretty big fan of life as it is, but there is always room for improvement.
And everyone. Life is beautiful, and I want you to realize it.