This I Believe

Stephanie - Missoula, Montana
Entered on September 24, 2007

I Believe

I believe that death is a confusing aspect of life, an aspect my mind has debated over many times. However, I believe death has helped prepare me for life. Emotionally, I can cope with the sad parts of life better than I could before.

July 9th, 2007 was one of the most painful days in my life. At around 11:00 p.m., I woke up to my brother thrusting the phone into my face. Still dazed with sleep I held the phone to my ear. Some way, through the sobbing on the other end, I heard my best friend telling me that our friend Tyler *SHUG* Sugarbaker drowned that evening. I don’t recall what words were passed after that for my body instantly went into shock. There were no tears, no thoughts, not even a sound until my mom entered my room. I instantly started to break down trying to explain what happened and what pain I was feeling. I was confused, frustrated, and angry. How could our SHUG be dead??

Even though my mind sometimes has issues grasping the thought of Tyler’s death, my heart knows I’ll survive. Whenever I find myself dwelling on the fact that he’s gone, I begin to think about all the awesome experiences I shared with Tyler. For example, the times Tyler and I would rock out to some sweet jams during the classes we had together. Anybody could tell anything to Tyler, and he would just listen, he would never judge you or make you feel stupid. Well, unless you were really being stupid, he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut if you were doing something stupid. It’s hard to explain the way Tyler was if you didn’t know him, he was very unique. Even if thinking about the good times doesn’t help, I’ll still try and look past the pain. I’ll call one of my friends and go to the movies, or just hang out, just so my mind will think about something happy.

As time passes, the pain subsides and life keeps going. By continuing to work at Subway right after Tyler died, I was moving on, slowly healing. Today, I feel my heart is fully healed, I know Tyler is at peace, making me feel at peace. New and exciting things have happened, and my mind lets go of Tyler’s death for days on end. Even so, Tyler’s memory will never leave my heart. This memory has made me stronger. Instead of looking back and feeling pain, I’ll feel blessed for even knowing Tyler. I also believe that by looking for the positive in any situation, we can all lead more happy lives. When I encounter an emotionally challenging situation; like loosing a beloved pet, or taking notice of the amount American soldiers lost at war; I know I’ll stay strong, and try to smile or laugh to lift my spirits.