I'll Always Miss You
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I'll Always Miss You

My personal experience with losing someone who wasn't family

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I'll Always Miss You
Vladimir Zaytsev Photography

In a few months it’ll be four years since I received the text message that changed everything. It’ll be four years since someone I thought of as a sister left this world way too soon.

I think about that day a lot. I usually checked my phone periodically through the day, but for some reason on that particular day, I didn’t. I waited until the end of the day on my ride home to check it. There was a text message from my neighbor, it was only two words, but those two words were enough to make my heart stop.

“Devan’s dead.” I can’t recall how many times I read those two words. The only thing I could respond with was “what.” The next message read the same two words. My next response was “how.” The final response was two different words: “Car accident.”

I felt like I hit a wall. World shattered. My eyes were too blurry to see anything anymore. My brain shut off and my voice didn’t work anymore. My face stayed in my hands the entire ride home. My vision was blurry the whole walk back from the bus stop. I dropped to the floor as soon as I walked in my door. Somehow I managed to get myself into my room and into bed. Shortly after my arrival home, I got a phone call from my mom. She must have already known because the first thing she said when I picked up was “are you okay?”

I had lost people close to be before this moment. Family that I loved very much and had huge impacts on my life. But this was different. This was the first time I’d lost someone so close in age to me. This was the first time I’d lost someone so close to me that wasn’t family. This was the first time I didn’t see it coming.

The reasons I miss you are not always understood by some. You weren’t perfect, you made mistakes. But you turned things around, you found yourself. Some people didn’t see it that way. They didn’t see you the way I did. A girl that I loved growing up. One of my first friends in a new neighborhood. A girl that made some mistakes, but was still a good person. When you graduated high school and left, I missed you. When you came back and visited I dropped what I was doing to come see you every time.

I saw you a month before you died. You couldn’t believe how grown I was and how different everything was. You were happy and you had big things ahead of you.

If I had known that was the last time I was going to see you, the last time I was going to hug you, I would have held on longer. I would have told you how much you meant to me. I would have stayed longer. If I would have known the last conversation we were going to have was about the American Idol judge panel I would have talked about something different. Something more significant.

I hear songs that remind me of you. I see pictures of you and read quotes that scream your name. Every time I get ready for a game, your name is on my arm.

You don’t realize how much people are an influence in your life until they’re not there anymore. Tell people you love them every day and don’t take them for granted because they might not be there the next day.

Rest in peace, Devan Marie VanWitzenburg. I miss you every day and I love you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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