This I Believe

Kristal - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on April 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death
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A loss but with a remedy

I have a father who loves the beach. For this reason I was practically raised on the beach and was even named after the illusion that the light of the sun creates on the water. For me the beach is beautiful with its palms, sand, sun, and of course the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. For others the beach is a traitor that with its enchanting beauty attracts many to their death. For many the beach has created grief, but in my case the beach has helped me deal with mine. For this reason I believe that going to the beach can help you deal with the loss of someone.

It was the bright and early morning of June 4, 2005 when I found out that my Track and Field coach, Guggo, had taken his own life by swallowing some tablets of rat poison. This news was unbelievable to me because I always saw him as a strong man and I admired him very much. I had a combination of feelings that ranged from sadness to anger, but dad knew exactly what would help me at this moment; going to Jobos beach. When we got there, dad parked in his usual spot while I got ready to pick up my things from the back of the pick up truck. After about ten minutes I got in the water and body boarded for about three and a half hours. The wind, the water hitting my face, the other surfers speaking or screaming, the palms, the sand of the shore, the sound of the breaking waves, and of course that excitement feeling you get every time you ride a wave made me realize that although something terrible happened the waves keep braking and the wind keeps blowing as usual. At this point I started to see what happened in a whole new way. People live and die every day, it’s the nature of life; it is how I handle this “nature” that makes the difference.

That day at the Jobos beach I decide that I was going to cry and let all of my feelings out, but that I would keep living my life with I great memory of who Guggo was. I know that his life wasn’t perfect and that he had made some mistakes, but he managed to leave a mark in the heart of every person of the Track and Field team. Guggo has inspired me to become a physical education teacher and when I become one, I want to show as much passion for the sport as he did. I want to impact the life of my students as much as he impacted mine. Guggo was our leader, our friend, our coach, and no matter what he did or why he did it, this is what I will always remember of him.