It’s been four and a half years since your beautiful soul left us. At first I was scared that I would someday forget you, and I never wanted that to happen. I was so young that I didn’t realize that you would leave an impact on my life that would never leave.

Four and a half years ago, a crisp winter night would turn into one that would impact my life forever. You were driving. My best friend was riding shotgun. My other friends were in a car ahead of you. None of us could even imagine what would happen that night.

To this day, no one really knows what happened for sure. Was the road slippery? Did you lose control of the wheel? I guess we will never know for sure, but we all know you didn’t deserve to go so young.

You were the positive one. The one that brought us all together. You lite up a room with your smile. You never failed to make your friends smile or laugh when they were down. There’s so many things I wish you could’ve been around for.

According to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2013, six teens between the ages of 16-19 died every day from car accidents. You were one of them.

My heart felt a physical ache it had never known before. I didn’t know my eyes could cry so hard for so long. I had never seen a guy bawl so hard until the night after you left us. We all wept together and grieved our loss. No one could ever replace you, there was no one like you.

It took a long time to be okay again. We (your friends) stood together and leaned on each other. We did our best to honor you and make you proud of us. We all believed you were looking down on us – our guardian angel.

Before you, I had never a friend so close to me. I was scared I would forget about you. Sometimes I go back through old videos to hear your voice. I look back through old Facebook posts to remember our silly conversations. I still miss you, daily.

At first I didn’t know that I would not only never forget you, but I would think of you every day.

I didn’t know that because of the tragedy that took you from us, I would find Jesus.

I didn’t know that losing a great friend like you would make me so strong.

If you were here, you would be getting ready for your senior year of college. I wonder what school you would’ve chosen, what you would’ve majored in and what career path you would’ve pursued.

What would you think of us? The ones you left behind.

Would you be proud of how we all stuck together after you left? Would you be honored by how we chose to remember you? Or would you be sad that we don’t see each other anymore? That we floated away and let our lives pull us apart.

We do all gather once a year when we visit you. For the short time that we are all together, we forget the petty fights and remember the fantastic memories of the past. We hug and laugh and catch up, I think you would really like it. I hope that you can see us when we do that.

If you were here could you have kept us together? Would you have been the one to rescue us when we were all falling apart?

I choose to think you are proud of us all. No matter where we are now. You were always the one to look on the bright side. The one to cheer us on and pick us up when we were down.

I miss you every day. I hope I am making you proud. You’re my guardian angel and I can feel you near in times of trouble. Thank you for watching over me.