The connections we make in life are amazing.
Some people come into your life briefly, while others remain a steadfast presence. And when we lose one of these connections, we feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut.
When one of these people, who without knowing it helped to shape your life, even in the most minor of ways, disappears permanently, shock is met with pain, an ache that is sharp and dull, existent but invisible, raw and unrefined. The memories, distant and slowly fading, start to reappear one by one. Her laugh in the hallway outside of Mrs. Cunningham’s chemistry room. The glittery eyeshadow that she wore for performances, that just never seemed to disappear completely from her eyelids. The speed in which she zoomed through the high school hallways, even when we weren’t in a rush for class. Celebrating my 16th birthday after finishing our last final sophomore year, complete with cake in the chem lab.
“Wow, I didn’t know you lived so close. Let’s meet for coffee.”
“Congratulations on getting married! When you’re free, we should get together.”
“How do you like the local dog park? Maybe we should bring the pups and meet up sometime.”
And now sometime is gone, buried in the past among our pictures in the yearbooks and the lab reports we could never quite keep clean.
Rest in peace, Kristyn. I hope you knew how many people would miss you. My thoughts and prayers are with your husband, your family, and your friends.