Appreciate friends while around


There was a point late Friday night where I had opened up a new Word document to write this column. At the time, I planned to write about how I am one of the college students who feel that they do not have as many friends as they want and how it’s completely normal and OK to feel alone while in school.

Little did I know, one of the biggest shocks of my life would come to me Saturday and my prior idea would take on a whole different meaning.

I found out Saturday night that one of my best friends in Pittsburgh had passed away.

At first, I was completely in denial. It took talking to my dad on the phone and him telling me that he already knew, but didn’t want to tell me until I was safe and not home alone, to even begin to accept the news.

I think it is just human nature to blame ourselves when something like this happens.

“I should have been there.

“I should have called.

“Why didn’t I know what was going on?”

When we lose a close friend, I think we want to place as much blame on ourselves as we can.

I tend to write about my friends a lot. I take pride in the fact that I keep my circle of friends small. I always found it more important to have a handful of close friends than to have an abundance of acquaintances.

The truth is, I am 100 percent guilty of taking my small group of friends for granted. I am known for not answering text messages or phone calls for days because I am busy with other work.

I have no doubt in my mind that my friends know I love them. I have no doubt that this particular friend knew I loved him, and still do.

But knowing that I will never be able to speak to such a close friend of mine again has me thinking of ways that I can change.

I came to this realization when I had to call another friend from home crying just to let her know that I love her to pieces and that I am always going to be there for her.

Even now, I wonder what would have happened if I had done the same thing just the night before.

The only message I really have this week is to try your hardest not to take your friends for granted. School or work can be stressful and time-consuming, I know, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to tell your friends that you care as much as you possibly can.

I cannot even begin to explain the pain of sitting alone, waiting for an obituary of a best friend who is gone way too soon, with no way of saying goodbye.

So please, go tell your best friends that you love them. Tell them that you will be there for them no matter what. Don’t let them feel alone.