One of the greatest weaknesses of people my age is the belief in is idea that we are invincible. We’re so young, so full of energy and turmoil, and so ignorant. Most of our problems seem so much larger than they actually are, and we can blow things out of proportion simply because we have yet to learn the art of being tactful.
However, one of the greatest strengths of people my age is the belief in the idea that we are invincible. We’re so passionate, so full of hope and liveliness, and so intelligent. Though we have many problems that we make larger than they actually are, we have yet to learn to give up. We have yet to be defeated by the world and its challenges.
The other day, I was in the library with my friends when one of them said, “Please let this be a joke.” Concerned I asked her what she was talking about and she showed me the Facebook post that announced the death of our mutual friend Francisco.
I wouldn’t describe myself as in shock, rather in that moment and in the moments to come, I was hyper-aware of my mortality, and of the fact that I wasn’t invincible and could die at any time.
As we poked around looking for more information, we learned that he was shot and killed by his roommate no more than 12 hours ago. Many of us had just talked to him since it was his birthday the day before.
When you’re young, you don’t expect to die. You don’t expect people your age to die. You don’t expect tragedies to happen to you, those are for other people. So when they happen to you, it is hard to process that emotion, it is hard to grieve because many of us have never faced something like this.
I still don’t know how I handled it. I didn’t cry surprisingly, in fact,I didn’t show a lot of emotion. I just pushed it to the back of my mind, and repressed it. That’s what I usually do with unfavorable emotions. If I don’t have to deal with it, then it will go away, and I’ll forget about it.
The thing is, I can’t just forget about Francisco. I see him everywhere, at Starbucks because he used to work there. In my conversations, because I can hear the things he would say if he were around. In my thoughts, because I can picture his face and imagine what he would be doing if we were together.
It is said to live everyday as if it were your last, and if anyone did that, Fransisco did. I never understood that saying, because I am so goal oriented and looking towards the future, that I can’t just throw my inhibitions to the wind and just do something spontaneous for fear that I will ruin my future. But sometimes I think, if I were to go now, what would happen? How would my family feel, how would my friends feel if they found out that I was dead. What impact did I have on people’s lives, if any?
I can’t speak for my friends, or my family. But I can say one thing, and that is, that all I want to do it be remembered as someone who brought joy to others. That whenever someone thinks of me, they think of good times and laughter, because that’s what I think of when I think of Fransisco.
Rest easy friend.