There are a very few occurrences that happen in the world that force us to never forget where we were, what we were doing at that particular time and who we were with.
Some of these times, unfortunately, are times in which we are forced to reflect on the loved ones in our lives and at times, to reflect on those who never got the chance to enter our lives to make some kind of impact.
On April 15, 2018, at around 10:30 pm, a cherished member of our Binghamton community was taken away from us.
It started as a normal Sunday night and some of my apartmentmates and I were circled around our kitchen's island doing what we normally do around the time our Sunday scaries are slowly creeping in: mindlessly scrolling through our Instagram feed, online shopping with the money we did not have and recapping the events of the weekend that had just come to an end. I was putting off going to the bathroom for a few hours because I didn't want to physically get up until I finally did and in a matter of seconds, I heard one of my apartmentmates exclaim that there had been a stabbing in one of the major residential halls on campus. Moments later, more and more information came flooding in, each piece of information more devastating than the last.
Although I did not know Joao personally, the fact still stands that a certain presence has been taken from the lives of those who did know him personally and even casually, as well as the lack of a presence that now stands in the community of Binghamton alone. It's absolutely heartbreaking to come to terms with - coming to terms with the notion that it was, in fact, this simple for a person to take the life of another and this is something that should've never happened.
On one hand, being a graduating senior, it's fairly easy to reflect on the memories I've had the great honor of sharing with my loved ones in my life and feeling grateful for the moments I've been given in my life to experience. On the other, it's rather difficult to grapple with the idea of the what-ifs of not having the chance to experience these said moments and experiences with the people I love most. To us - to me specifically - it's incredibly unnerving to imagine a world without all these things and thinking back on the most recent events to occur, it deeply saddens me to think that students like Joao and Haley have paved a road ahead of them that was filled with all kinds of potential that was taken from them far too soon and for that, I will always be sorry that they were never given the fair chance to live up to their own potential. I will always be sorry that they weren't given the same fair chance that the rest of us still have and finally, I will always be immensely sorry that these tragedies have had to occur in the first place and have taken two people away from all their loved ones so early on in their lives.
To be able to help in any which way you can, a GoFundMe account has been set up for Joao Souza: