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In Memory of Sweet Hannah

It’s with a heavy heart tonight I can’t slow my thoughts….as I lost a friend who I bonded with in junior high {very quickly} and one that I admired greatly for so many things – her ability to dance, sing, to love and just be…. Hannah. She was her own person and seriously had the best laugh.

I am not usually one to get dramatic on social media or the internet…especially about things that are  emotionally charged. But I will say that tonight as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I realized the overwhelming sense of self-centered-ness our generation holds. Constant selfies, ranting about bad experiences from a place they did business, passive-aggressive status updates hoping the one person it’s intended for reads it…and on…and on. I hope that our generation has not lost their ability to care, love and nurture those around them.  I am a huge advocate of self-love, self-awareness, and confidence as I think that is a huge part of growing up and becoming your own, but self centeredness isn’t one in the same as those. I wish I saw twice as many posts and shares of people that I personally know spending time “checking in” at the local coffee shop with a friend, spending time with family, lunch dates, 2 hour phone calls with a best friend than I see of people complaining, being negative, posting things that seem to entertain the idea of world that only they live in.

I am surrounded by dozens of people  that suffer silently from infertility.

Hannah lost her battle with depression with a gun last night.

My best friend {my soul sister} lost her mother to agonizing painful cancer last month.

What do they all have in common? They are smiling in their pictures. They appear happy. You would never know from the outside that these are people fighting a battle every day. I promise you, these people would never let you know unless you asked.

One of my favorite memories we had together was our health class in high school. Our teacher took the class about as seriously as we did. Because we always did our homework and aced our exams, it wasn’t uncommon for him to let us skip class on Friday’s to go hang out in the Football stands or duck into the choir room so she could sing. And man, could she sing. She definitely took after her bothers, Isaac and Josef with their musical talent. She loved singing with a passion so deep only true artists I think could understand.

As I started my earliest ventures into photography with a makeshift backdrop and pop-up flash on my new {to me} dslr, she was one of my first models. Naturally, her skills to just stand there and be gorgeous outranked my newlyfound photography skills.

I absolutely hate that I lost touch with Hannah a few years ago just from life circumstances and going our separate ways as we became adults by going to different schools, moving, etc. I regret it more than you will ever know.  As with many who have lost a friend/family member to suicide, I have that sense of regret for losing touch and the guilt and questioning of “Was I good enough friend?”, “If we had stayed in touch, would I have been able to help her?” , “What if…” , “What if…” , “What if….”. I think it is a natural process to feel insecure and guilty in your relationships when a death feels potentially preventable. But knowing that doesn’t make it hurt less.  Why am I rambling and babbling here? Because it hurts. It hurts to know a friend that I always loved and admired felt scared, alone and out of options. I want to encourage everyone to re-connect with old friends, childhood best friends, or just anyone. Make sure everyone you care for knows you care for them. Make someone feel special…feel important…feel loved – by you.

and more than anything.. be nice. Be nice to everyone. Every. Single. Person. on this Earth is fighting a battle you may not know. No one deserves for ugly things to be said about them, to them to their face or behind their back, or to be treated poorly – no matter what they said to you first, what their political or religious beliefs are, how they live their life differently from you. Just be nice to everyone you meet. I don’t mean on the extreme level of being bullied and mocked in high school. I also mean to the person that stole your parking spot at the grocery store, the old lady that used 45 coupons in the check out line, the young girl that doesn’t know the difference between “their” , “they’re” and “there”….everyone.

If more people were able to empathize with the feelings of others… our generation might just change the world.

I will always love and admire you, Hannah – as will many many others.


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