Nothing prepares you for losing someone. Nothing prepares you for losing someone young. Nothing prepares you for losing a friend young. Nothing prepares you for losing two friends young. Nothing prepares you for when those two friends are brothers, and you lost them both young — and within minutes of each other.

January 10th at 9:07 pm, I received a text from my best friend: "[Friends name] (not mentioned out of respect for the family) and his brother were murdered." to which I replied, "Lying," because I wasn't going to allow myself to believe it. The texts continued.

Best friend: "No."

Me: "Tell me ur lying!"

Unfortunately, she wasn't.

I was in Florida when I heard the news. I begged for it to have not happened in Syracuse, the one place I knew as home, but I did. My parents tried to tell me that they were just in critical condition because that's what the news said, but I knew otherwise. The world had stopped. My world slowly caved in on me. I screamed but no sound was coming out. I was drowning, drowning in tears, sorrows, pain, hurt, grief, but mostly, I was drowning in guilt. Guilt that I wasn't home when my friends needed me and I needed them.

This isn't the same type of pain when you lose someone but you find peace in knowing they aren't suffering anymore. This isn't the same type of pain that can be reversed by buying a new family pet. This is the pain when you're being stabbed over and over by a dull knife but don't have the strength to fight back. This kind of pain ruins everything. It ruins your mood, momentum, pride; your ego, mental and personality. It changes you as a person.

The next eight days of my life were plagued by the sharpest pain I'd ever felt. My heart wasn't broken, it was non-existent. I smiled and tried to continue to enjoy life because they would have wanted me to keep living, but I couldn't find the rhythm to do so. I had to constantly tell myself that I had to act as if they were still here, I had to keep working hard and push through because they would have wanted that and they would have made sure it happened.

I didn't make it home in time to say my final goodbye, but I'm beginning to realize that I didn't need to — because goodbye is forever, this is temporary. I will see them again, I will feel their spirits again, they will continue to push me to do and be better. In 103 days, they are going to be there with me when I graduate in spirit. They will know I'm graduating for them, and with my friends, we will continue to do what they now can't. We'll keep each other strong and be there for each other because that's what they would have wanted, and what they want they will forever get.

These brothers will forever live on in our hearts. They will forever be our brothers. We will forever be one. Sleep Heavenly <3