In the fall of 2005, I was met with the most compromising, mind-altering event in my life. At the completion of school on October 11, I met my mother in the parking lot where she waited for me in a black Volvo. Entering her car, I noticed her complexion; her normally clear eyes were wet and bloodshot and her pale nose was now rosy. She looked at me for what seemed an eternity and stated my close childhood friend had committed suicide.
The fondest memories I have of myself and Kyle include the two of us playing basketball with his younger brother, who still was older than me. He taught me to play basketball, which I played aggressively for 10 years following. He played house with me. He was my friend at times, at others, my brother.
I believe that pain, however seemingly trivial, is beneficial in changing people’s characters for the better. The death of someone close taught me to cherish everything.
Kyle Ambrogi taught me many things that I now live by. He was loved in life, but the most memorable thing he taught me was that which he taught in death: although pain can be compromising and trying, continuation of life is necessary because all things come and go. In the outcome, I gained more than lost in the months following Kyle’s death.
After he died, I learned how to live. After the loss of someone very close to me, I began to appreciate every day for what it truly is: a gift. My close friends became closer and my life became happier. I value every bit of what makes our environment, from the tiniest flower to the brightest sun.
Although Kyle is gone, I notice him in small places: in the breeze on a warm summer day, or in the sunrise. Kyle means so much to me; he symbolizes life. He is remembered as a gift for the 21 years he was on earth. He will always be loved.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.