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A girl I knew died yesterday. She was a teenager, a few years from graduating high school.

When I first got to know her she was a sweet smiling little girl, clinging to my arm and giving me hugs. She wrote me letters with poor handwriting and stickers in the margins.

A few years later I taught her art when she was a sullen 8th grader, rolling her eyes at me from the back of the class, but creating beautiful work nonetheless. I pulled her aside and reminded her of the letters. I told her I believed in her, I could see her potential, and I knew she’d become a strong leader in her community.

Then last night she died in a drunk driving accident with a friend. She was so young, so full of potential beauty and love and happiness, now completely snuffed out. She was just a silly, fun little girl. Looking at her Facebook this morning and reading the heart-breaking messages from her family and friends, I stumbled across this chilling post she’d made almost two years ago, reminding me again how young she really was:



Just a silly copy-and-pasted thing that was probably passed around Facebook at that time, but also a sad prediction of the end of her life. And sadder still to realize that all her young friends, posting hearts and Likes actually will be crying at the funeral later this week.

I don’t really have a message I’m trying to get across. I mean, “don’t drink & drive” I guess… But really I just want to express the sadness that seems to be squeezing my heart.