In Memoriam

I lost my best friend two weeks ago. It broke my heart and I am only now starting to function again. Here is the letter I wrote to her and read at her memorial:

My dearest,

Every morning since your passing I wake up in a cold sweat, desperately hoping that you’ll be back here with us. But every morning I wake up still alone, still without you. It’s hard to accept that you’re gone.

We met as library assistants in 9th grade. You were the first person to make me laugh uncontrollably like I had before I moved here. With you I felt free, to be my most wild and crazy self. We would sing loudly in the hallways, remember? It’s hard to believe that two inherently anxious people like us were able to let go when we were together. We had Bollywood dance parties, where we tried our best to mimic the actors in the movies. You brought out the most genuine version of me. I think you brought that out in all of us.

You stood by me when I got sick and were there waiting for me on the other side. In the end, you were one of my biggest inspirations. You were fearless. From selling vacuums to meeting new people, nothing fazed you. You were always up for anything. Concerts, the disco, chasing after marching bands, whatever it was you always jumped in head first. It’s one of the things I most admired about you.

You were so beautiful, in every sense of the word. The way you waved with your hand at your side. The way you threw your knees back when standing. The way you zoned out when you were thinking, just staring into space. Your silly faces in all the pictures we have. And your smile, oh your smile.

College was difficult for all of us. As a result we became even closer, sharing our deepest fears and wishes. We were there for each other. You had an impact on everyone you met, every single person here. Your honesty and bluntness was so refreshing. You truly cared about individuals as well as the big issues. If you didn’t understand what someone was going through, you sat right down and asked us to explain, to help you understand.

You once wrote of a theory you had, that death comes once a person has come to terms with themselves, once they’ve accepted things as they are. I’d like to think you were right. You were finally figuring yourself out, figuring out what you like and what you wanted your future to look like. After a very difficult time in your life you were looking forward again, with excitement. We even had plans for me to visit you in May and were going to spend time together this summer.

As a friend you were just what I needed. Someone to laugh with, to be silly with, to discuss issues with, to share every little thing, and to support each other. You always knew exactly what to say to cheer me up. In our last conversation, just a week or two ago, I thanked you for being my friend and you thanked me back. I know that you left this world knowing how much I, and everyone here, love you. I told you every time we talked. I am so grateful to have had you in my life. You will always be my best friend. There is no one else in this world like you.

A few years ago you sent me this paragraph, calling it the coolest thing you’d ever read and wanting to share it with someone.

“Buddhism uses an image to describe the interconnectedness of all phenomena. It is called Indra’s Net. When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web is tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra’s net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra’s web implies all else that exists.”

Well, my darling, you are a big shiny pearl in Indra’s net, and so am I, and we are inextricably linked forever on that great web of existence and will be for eternity. You will be reflected in me for the rest of my life. You will always exist.

Several weeks ago, I was really struggling, so I reached out to you to talk and you did your thing where you say exactly what I need to hear. You said you were really looking forward to seeing how my motivation will be channeled into something positive. You said you were excited to see what I’d do in life. This is the message I want to take from all this. You were someone who always saw potential in others, and was always excited for the future to unfold.

So, let’s all of us let our futures unfold and show her what incredible things we can do. Let us, as part of Indra’s net, let her pearl reflect in our lives. Let us live for her, in her memory, and with her genuineness and openness to life.

I love you, always.

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