70: Best Friend Gone Forever

70: Best Friend Gone Forever

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

Best Friend Gone Forever

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.

~John Taylor

The year that I transferred to public school, one of the first people I met was a girl named Sarah Parker. Since we were both new to Darby Middle School, our sixth grade guidance counselor, Mr. Madison, paired us with each other for a private study hall to help us feel more comfortable at school and improve our grades. Sarah and I became best friends.

It was hard for us to invite each other over because her parents were strict and kept her from doing fun things like going out for ice cream or studying with someone else. Sarah was still a happy and enthusiastic child who was easy to get along with. Both she and I loved to read. One of her hobbies was drawing and she liked to write about cartoon characters. She was an amazing artist.

Lunch table cliques and bus-seat bullies are fixtures in most sixth graders’ lives. A family or home that is restrictive can only add to the pressure of school. Now, when I look back, I’m glad I reached out to Sarah and had my friendship reciprocated, albeit fleetingly. We were about halfway through the school year when it happened. With no indication and without telling anyone, Sarah killed herself. Up until the last day I saw her, I had no idea she was sad or depressed.

The day after her death, my history teacher was waiting for me when I got off the bus. He said that Mr. Madison wanted to talk to me. Mr. Madison took me to his office and told me to sit down. He didn’t make any small talk before discussion—he just said that one of my friends was no longer with us. My thoughts were very far from Sarah. And then he said her name.

At first, I thought he was kidding, but then I saw the truth in his eyes and it hit me. I would never see her again and we would never share our special moments of girlhood giggles and laughter. My soul felt broken for the next week or so. My other friends and I cried a lot that week. Little by little, things like the sound of her voice became harder to remember. I was recovering and moving on. I knew that Sarah was in a better place, and that we would never really know what was going through her mind or what drove her to do it.

She was an amazing friend. I will miss her.

For people who have experienced the loss of a friend, or for those who will encounter it, you just have to keep one thing in mind. When these things happen, you do not have to accept them—just live with them. That person who you cared so much about will always live in your heart.

~Carmelle Wasch

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