Guilt Regarding My Friend’s Death

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I met her while working at a restaurant in 2015. It wasn’t a job that I was excited to be at everyday, but her energy and laugh always made the shift much easier. She never had a problem with anyone and all of the coworkers gravitated towards her when they needed a friend to confide in.

During this time, I was beginning my journey (more like obsession) in Neuroscience. To my surprise, this was a field that she was extremely interested in. She had a bachelor’s degree from years before and started looking for a second source of employment in this field. I remember the day she came into the restaurant after an interview and everyone was stunned with how good she looked and she was so excited about the position. She was soon offered the job; I was so proud of her. The job was at some sort of genetics laboratory.

This was towards the end of my time at the restaurant because I was offered a full time job with benefits at a bank. During that last week or two at the restaurant, she worked both jobs nearly everyday and began to look really tired, but that never stopped her from radiating happiness and joy wherever she went.

After I left the restaurant, I saw her a couple of times when I would come to eat or just visit. The restaurant was attached to a huge mall, so whenever I was there shopping, I stopped by. We mainly communicated via Snapchat, sending videos to each other everyday while lip syncing some old or ridiculous songs and making a fool of ourselves.

I stopped receiving the videos. But I also didn’t notice that I had stopped receiving the videos. After all, as adults we really don’t need to communicate everyday while trying to control our busy lives. I remember the last video I sent her. I hadn’t heard from her and a Justin Bieber song came on that we frequently used to make videos to, so that’s what I did. I sent it to her. It was never opened.

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If you have Instagram, you’re probably aware of the “discover” page where it will show you pictures similar to those that you’ve liked, but from people who you don’t follow. I go on there often just because I get bored of the same pictures of those that I do follow. Now, my friend didn’t post much on her social media profiles except for Snapchat, so that wasn’t completely out of character for her to not post for a while. Anyways, I was lurking through Instagram’s discover page when I noticed a collage of 6 people, 1 of which was her. Obviously, I clicked on it. It was a friend of hers posting a collage of 6 people that passed away throughout the year. Needless to say, I broke down. I put all of the pieces together in my head and was just so heartbroken. The Snapchat videos that ceased, the 1 or 2 texts that I sent her where she didn’t respond, and the lack of social media activity, it all made sense now.

She passed away on August 5, 2016 in a single-vehicle car accident. Her truck was so mangled and [according to my local newspaper] it took hours to extract her. I didn’t find out until December of 2016. From what I understand, she died on impact and did not suffer. I will never know exactly what caused the accident. I can’t help but think that the exhaustion of working 2 jobs everyday, never having a day off, started to get to her and she was just too tired.

I still feel guilty about discovering this news so late, therefore missing her funeral. This August, I am feeling particularly guilty. I think about her all the time and I am heartbroken that I’ll never get to hear her laugh again, which was so contagious. However, I went through almost the whole month of August without realizing that it’s been 2 years already. The guilt of forgetting the day she passed away has been eating at me all morning. I’m not sure why, but I woke up thinking about her, which prompted me to write this post.

I often notice how those who unfortunately pass away are usually individuals that are well-liked, have no enemies, and are the happiest and most grateful to wake up everyday. She didn’t deserve this, no one does.

Kim, I miss you constantly and can’t wait to see you again on the other side. ♥

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