Celebrating the life of a lost loved one

Lurye Baxa, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Trigger warning before I begin this article: There will be talks of death and car accidents. If this makes you uncomfortable in any way, please do not read this article. 

When I first met my friend Maddie, I was in middle school. She was a year below me, but we had a lot of the same friends and were in choir together. 

We became friends pretty much right away. She was just so sweet and kind. She lit up every single room she walked in. Was she popular? Yes. But she was not just friendly to the popular kids. She was kind to everyone. 

Maddie was a social butterfly. She did not have just one group of friends. She was friends with everyone. 

Maddie was the type of friend where even simply being in her presence was enough. We did not even need to speak; we could just sit together in silence and still be happy.  

She was one of the best friends I could ever have. 

Maddie died on May 23, 2022. She was driving home and got in a horrible car accident. She suffered a massive brain injury and died in the hospital. 

This week, on March 23, she would have turned 19. 

I remember finding out she was not going to make it. I was sitting at home in bed. It felt like any other day.  

I remember getting so angry at the world. I remember thinking it was all a cruel joke; that Maddie was going to call or text me and she was going to be okay. 

But then the articles came out. 

She really hadn’t made it. How hadn’t she made it? How was that fair? Why did it have to be Maddie? She had an entire lifetime ahead of her. 

I did not cry for her until her memorial service. Seeing all her pictures and being around people that love her became too much. 

I did not go to her funeral because I did not think I could handle it. Now, though, I regret it. It would have been nice to have a final goodbye. 

I have had a lot of regrets since she died. Like not speaking to her enough since I graduated and not spending enough time with her. However, I know she still loved me and still thought of me. She thought of everybody. 

I cannot live with these regrets. She would not want that for me. Instead, I will constantly celebrate her life and continue living mine. I will always miss her, no matter what. But I know she would not want me to wallow in sadness over her. She would want me to continue being happy. 

Maddie and I had this thing where we would let each other know how we were feeling with a color. We would say what color we felt like that day and then explain why. She often felt like different shades of green, while I usually felt yellow or orange. Since she died, green has become my favorite color. 

As I am writing this, I am planning a trip to visit her grave. Though I will not be able to go on her actual birthday, it will still be nice to visit my best friend.  

Happy birth week, Maddie. Fly high, my beautiful butterfly. 

P.S. I am feeling very blue today.