Departing Letters

Dear Mom, Today I died. I didn't make the best choice. I knew my friend was high, but I still got in the car with him. He said that it was going to be okay, but it wasn't. I'm so upset and sad that you won't see me graduate college, that you won't see me have a family, I knew you wanted grandchildren; I'm so sorry mom. I wish I had said, "I love you" more often, even though I didn't say it that much, I hope you knew I did. We have been through a lot together and we were always one. Please don't cry; it makes me cry. Every single award I got was for you. Every compliment I got was thanks to you, because you raised me well. I could not have asked for a different mom, even though we sometimes fought, we knew that at the end of the day, we had each other's back. I will love you forever.



Dear Mom, I'm sorry for not being realistic. I'm sorry for going against everything I know, for going against everything you taught me. I know better. At the time I didn't think I'd be apart of the 1 in 8 teens to die in a car accident. I took my choices and I took everything for granted. I never thought it would happen to me. I was too worried about how you would punish me, that I didn't see how I would punish others or myself. I could have called you, I could have called someone because being grounded doesn't compare to losing my life, my family, and everything I've worked for. I've let myself down more than I have you. I'm sorry.



Dear Mom, I'm sorry. What else can I say? I'm sorry that I chose to get behind the wheel after I had too much to drink. I'm sorry that I wasn't responsible enough to know my limits. But most of all I'm sorry that I hit that telephone pole and died. I'm no longer around to show you that I could become someone that you aren't ashamed of. I can no longer turn your disappointed side-glances into gleams of pride. You've done so much for me and there is no way that I can ever repay you. Instead I am increasing the burden that is already weighing heavy on you but if there are any thoughts that I would want to leave with you it is to not mourn my death, but to celebrate my life. Look at all of the things that I have accomplished and try to find pride in them. And now where ever I go I just hope to see dad there with me.



Dear Mom and Dad, Today, I died, because of a careless decision I made of getting in a car with someone who had been drinking. Why did I decide to get in the car with him driving? He looked fine and he only had a few beers. At least that's what he said but now I'm dead. I will never smell the fresh air or feel a fresh breeze. My eyes will never see another sunset. My physical being is gone. But it's not all his fault because it's mine for allowing him to do this to us. I feel bad for him. I really do. I would never want to live with that thought. The thought of having been the reason for someone's death.

It came in an instant. Who would have thought when I woke up this morning that today was the day my life was going to end. I was excited to go to this party and be with my friends I now miss. I'm sorry I did this to you. I'm sorry for bringing such pain to you. I wish I had hugged you longer, for an hour, a whole day even. As long as it would have prevented me from getting into that car. I wanted a family; I wanted to give you grandchildren, not tears that would forever run down your beautiful face. I'm sorry mom and dad, and everyone that I loved. Of all the many things I wish I had said or done was to take everyday as your last. You may not think you would do as I did. It was more than stupid, but in a moment anything goes. Be careful, don't take your chances. Appreciate everyone and everything. Live your life, but live it with caution. I love you so much and I'm sorry for this. Remember me always but don't let me hold you back from living the rest of your life with joy.



Dear Mom and Dad, I didn't realize how drunk he actually was. What was I thinking? How could I be so stupid? I put my life in danger and now I am gone forever. I'm so sorry for what you and the whole family are going through. I'll miss the times when we plug our iPods into the surround speakers and dance like crazy people. Although we had our issues we've managed to come a long way. We are a unit and the definition of a team. I'll miss how we all have each other's backs. To my father I will miss how you always try to make me smile when I'm sad. You're always smiling and so positive and extremely supportive as well. I couldn't imagine a life without you, but now I have to. Mommy we've been through hell and back. I'm proud of us for overcoming our issues. You've done so much for me and I can't thank you enough. You are so strong and I love that about you. Maintain that strength for me. To my siblings, Kelly and Kyle, you 2 mean the world to me. I'm so sorry for being selfish like this. Now you guys won't get to see me accomplish my dreams, and vice versa. It will be hard but you will get through this. Kyle I won't able to experience going to your first college football game when you make it to the NFL. I am so sorry for that now. Kelly I won't be able to see you there in your career as a geologist and doing what you love. My choice to get in that car with a drunk driver has resulted in my death and your mourning. I am so sorry.



Dear Mom and Dad, Today I died in a car collision. No combination of 26 letters can ever convey how much I love the both of you. I was blessed to have parents like you, who have always taken care of and loved me. I wish I had considered the value of my life before I got into the car with someone who I knew was known for being a reckless driver. Mom, Dad, I am incredibly sorry. I wish I had more time to spend with you, more words to show you how much I care for you. Please tell my brother that I am incredibly proud of him for the man that he has become and how much I love him. Mom and Dad, you gave us the most beautiful childhood. Dad, I wish I had another dinner to eat with you, so I could tease you about how more food ends up in your mustache than in your mouth. Mom, I wish I had more hours to spend time chopping tomatoes with you, shopping with you, taking naps with you, everything. You guys always made sure that my life was comfortable, and that I was happy. I am grateful not only for the things I know about, but more importantly for the little things which you do in the background that I have no idea about. You guys were the most amazing, most caring parents that any kid could have possibly wished for.

Please tell everyone in the family how much I love them, and how lucky I was to have such a fantastic family showering me with love. Even as the words come from me, I cannot believe that all this has happened. I thought nothing of it when I got into the car, but now everything has been snatched away from me. I am so deeply sorry that this is the last communication that we will ever have. Just know that I love you very, very much and wish the best for you always. Please take care of one another because today I died in a car collision and I am never coming back.



Seeing you everyday always made me smile, and I knew you were someone I could count on and trusted. Trust is interesting in that way; that night when I should have listened to my instincts. Maybe then we could be getting ready for Prom together or staying up all night talking about the future. We would have been each other's "Maid of honor". We had that kind of relationship and I blew it, even after getting a second chance at life. You were always supporting me, teaching me to believe in myself, when I didn't. I'm sorry, sorry for disappointing you and leaving you alone to deal with this harsh world. I'm sorry for not being able to hear about where you got accepted to college and for not being able to cry together when they call our names at graduation. I'm sorry for putting you through this pain. This time there is no cure because I'm not coming back.



That I'm Sorry for letting you down. You trusted me. I broke your trust. I ended my life. And I destroyed our friendship. I'M SO SORRY.



We were close and we were good friends. I always feared something would happen and I'm dearly sorry for the event that has unfolded. I will never be with you and I'm sad and hope this never happens to anyone.



I should have said something. I feel partly responsible for just being a crappy friend. I knew that texting while driving is not safe. You had so much ahead of you. But even worse, you had a dream to fulfill. You worked so hard to reach your goal and now you won't be able to. It's too late to say something now but just know I won't tolerate this in the future; I would never let someone drive and text. Your memory will live on. I'll continue to dream for you.



Sorry for not choosing a sober driver. I wasn't thinking; I didn't know I was intoxicated. I shouldn't have drank anything at all. I should have listened to you.



You had the choice to change this, I'm sorry you couldn't think twice. I should have called your mother to get you but I knew you were scared. It wasn't worth getting in that car; you were my best friend. I would do anything to retract time.



Dear Sasha, I want to tell you that no matter what, you will never be forgotten. I want to tell you how this feeling inside me will never go away, how I cry at night consumed by never ending hate. I hate you. I hate you for getting in the car. I hate you for turning on the music too loud. I hate you for switching seats with me when I said I would rather sit in the back. I hate you for dying instead of me. Why did we go to that party? Why did it have to be that one night when you lost your car keys and we got a ride from someone else? I should have stopped us, or at least stopped the driver from getting in. We all laughed so much when he tripped walking to the car. Even me. I hate myself for not speaking up, for not finding a new ride, for not remembering to call my brother to pick us up. This emotion is not pain, nor anguish; like the counselors said, it has nothing to do with sadness or sorrow. All I can feel is anger. I am sorry you will be remembered this way, in rage. You should have been remembered with smiles and tears of joy, not screams of frustration. I cannot forgive myself for that one night, and even though I was not the driver that swerved off the road and crashed into a pole that smashed through the windshield and impaled itself into your skull. Even though I was not the one that was drunk and missed the turn; I killed you. I am sorry, sorry this feeling I feel for you know is not love, that the last image I have of you is your auburn hair stained red, your arm hanging at an odd angle, twisted behind you. I hope you remember me in a kinder fashion.



I wish we hadn't make the choices we'd made because it caused an event to pass that could have been easily avoided. The scars of losing someone close to me may heal but will never be forgotten.



It wasn't your fault. My death was the result of the decision I made or failed to make. Tell others my story so no one else has to die like I did.



As we live our mundane, routine-based lives, we tend to focus on big goals such as getting into college and being successful in the future. We tend to assume trivial actions, such as getting a ride home, have no impact on those larger goals. We tend to ignore the incredible impact these actions can have on our lives when things do not go as planned, when foolish risks are taken and accidents happen. Just one bad decision can lead to an individual's death that leaves all those huge goals of getting a good job or starting a family completely irrelevant. What may seem like a trivial matter, such as driving, should be taken much more seriously. It is important to realize that speeding hunks of large metal are always dangerous; traffic rules are the boundaries that keep cars and drivers in line. Straying from traffic rules, like drinking and using drugs, can lead to dangerous situations. Driving is not as trivial as one may think. Accidents happen constantly, from driving accidents to other twists of fate that constantly happen off the road. Tragedies are always going to occur, because that's just the way life is, so you may as well prevent the accidents you have the power to stop.



I am sorry I partied too hard and got drunk. I'm sorry I got drunk and smoked weed and got high and then decided to drive. It was stupid and careless of me. Please forgive me.



Dear Mommy and Daddy, I should have told her she was a dangerous driver, that I felt scared every time I got into a car with her. She was reckless, loved speed and hated traffic. I would cringe at every sharp turn and abrupt stop, but I rarely said anything. If I did, she would take it as a joke and would not think twice about my concern. Now we are both dead; because she was careless and I did not have the courage to say something about it. Mom, you would tell me every day that you had "Fear-of-Losing-My-Children Anxiety". It was something we both laughed about; partly because it was completely made up and partly because it seemed impossible. If I was out later than you had expected, you would share the new scenario you had thought up and I would reassure you, "Mommy, that would never happen!" But it did. You always told me the worst thing I could ever do was leave you. I have. You are the best and I have done the worst. You do not deserve this. I will miss making dinner with you (well, most of the time, you would end up making it and I would be snacking and talking the whole time, not really being much "help" at all). We would blast music and dance around the kitchen, competing to see who could come up with the weirdest dance move.

Dad, your situation, although devastating, never seemed as bad as it really was. You never let it get to you. You are brave, strong, and noble, even in the face of such an awful disease. When you think of your death approaching, the fact that you worry about not being able to teach my brother and I everything about life and not even an ounce about yourself, is truly inspiring. You have remained strong and you will continue to. At least you tried to prepare me for your death. But, I just left you. When I think about your strength, I feel even sicker knowing that I did not have the strength to tell her to slow down. Both you and Mom are heroes. Every parent should at least strive to be half the parent that each of you were to me. It is going to seem weird to hear this, (given our families raging arguments!) you two are the perfect team. Mom and Dad, you are opposites and somehow it works perfectly.

Brother, you are a thug! You are my best friend and I will miss you dearly. You always make me laugh and you do it so well. You are kind and turning out to be such a gentleman. I am so proud of you. I will never forget how you always open doors for Mom and me. I will never forget all of the games we made up as little kids. I will never forget all of the plane rides, car rides, and boat rides where you were always my "seat buddy". I will never forget the times when you asked me which dress shirt you should wear. I will never forget how you always carry my swim bag even when you have yours to carry as well. I will never forget how you rap, it is actually the best thing in the world. I will never forget how happy you make me.

With love



I miss you. I miss you so much. I'm sorry I let you down. I'm sorry I can't spend the rest of my life laughing with you and taking into the early hours of the morning. I love you Jake.



Dear Jim, Today you died. I wanted to tell you that I wish you were still with us. If only you didn't get into the car with someone who was drinking things could have been different. I also wish there was a designated driver or a friend that you could have called to get yourself home safely. You could have called me... but now you're gone forever and it's too late. Rest In Peace, Austin



That you could have been saved, if only we took everything more seriously.



Dear Amy, I want to tell you that I am sorry. Sorry for not being able to change what has happened. I miss you. I'm hurt. We're all hurt. Please come back. I'm speechless. You were always there for me and in one instant, I couldn't be there for you because you left this world. The world I'd thought you'd bring change to with that beautiful personality, smile, and philanthropy of yours. Why? ...I I have to ask. Why did you do it? I knew you were better than this. I wish I could just go back in time and stop you, just simply tell you "No, don't do this. Is this what you really wanted?". Now you're gone and there's no turning back. What will I do without you? How will I be able to move on? Think about your family, friends, and loved ones. Did you think about us when you decided to risk your life? I'm sorry. I'm angry. I'm upset. Life is different now that you're gone. All I can do now is think of the wonderful memories we shared. I will never forget what you told me, "Life's an ocean. Sometimes there's a storm. Sometimes it's calm. There are always up's and down's. You just have to find the right current and swim with it." Well Amy, now that you're gone I can't find that current anymore. I can't fight it. Instead I feel as if I'm drowning. I just want you to return home. Please come back. Please. I love you. I love you so much.



That I am so sorry, I loved you and my family so much. I was stupid. I'm sorry....that's all i can say.



That you will be very missed and your death will not be in vain. I will spread this message and unfortunate happening so that this tragedy will not happen to others.



I was too weak. I was too selfish. I spend too many days worrying about myself and not about my peers. On that day, I wish I was stronger, and more caring. I know now how stupid it is to put us in danger for minutes of joy. I'm sorry pal, I will always wish I had reminded you that when you get behind the wheel, there is somebody's child that is put at risk. Don't hurt somebody's baby. I wish I hadn't given back your cars keys just because you cursed and punched me because you wanted them back. You were too drunk, too naive.



Dear Jazzy, Today you died. I want to tell you how much I regret getting into that car knowing the driver was completely out of their mind. I'm so sorry I let you get in. Now we won't be able to enjoy all those trips around the world we wanted to enjoy. Now I won't see you graduate to be a Psychologist and you won't be able to see me in my scrubs saving lives in hospitals. Every time I look at your mom I break down because deep inside I feel at fault for your death. I hope that wherever you are you're better off and you find it in yourself to forgive me for that reckless night.

I love you, Genesis



Don't take life for granted



Today, you died. I want to tell you how much you meant to me. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that you're gone. I will never be able to see that eccentric smile of yours, the one that could light up any room. I wish that I had talked to you more about the dangers of reckless driving. If only I would have told you to not text while driving; maybe you would still be alive today, so that I could see that beautiful smile. If only I had known that on that Friday last week before you left to go pick up your sister, that would be the last time I would see you, the last time I would be able to hug you. I know you're in heaven now watching over your baby sister. Don't worry, I'll make sure she learns from all of our stupid mistakes and accomplishes every single thing she dreams of. As for your mom, she's really hurting. She's lost without her baby, but don't worry I will be your angel here on earth. I will protect her, make sure she knows just how much you loved her and appreciated her. Time will pass and people will change, but your place in our hearts will be here forever. Be good up there, and I'll be seeing you.



Dear (any friend I am close to) Today you died and I will hate you forever for leaving me here. Did you not think about your family or friends when you drove off that night? Now you are gone, and as mad as I am at you, there's nothing now that I can do to change this. I would beg you to come back to me, even though I know you can't. I would cry and scream and curse, but right now I just don't want to believe this is real. I am not able to say good bye. I hope to see you, and maybe even feel you watching over me.

Today you died. I want to tell you how much you had to look forward to in your life. You were a young guy with bright intentions, and a focus on the next chapter of your life. You had a plan for success and every year I spent with you as my best friend, I saw you getting closer to reaching it. But you died in that car crash. I don't know if anything could have been done because we cant control other people's recklessness. I just hope that other people don't make stupid decisions to drive when they aren't equipped to for any reason. I wish I might share another laugh with my best friend. Rest in paradise bud, you were the gem in the cave and now, I'm just among rocks. I wont mourn your death, but promise to celebrate the life of a truly amazing man. R.I.P.



Dear Myles, I wasn't the designated driver, and you know me, the awkward guy who doesn't drink, the one who said he was a designated driver for life? Well tonight I didn't make that call, and if I could go back I would change everything that happened. I was partying with friends, a rare spectacle I know. Maybe it was the thought of not being out of the house for so long that got me kind of stirred up.I let a friend drive us to another friends house, a sort of after party. I knew he was buzzed but, I didn't feel like it was my place to tell him to hand over the keys or stop driving so fast. You know, cause sometimes you have to deal with the hand you're dealt. You know, "go with the flow", of things. I mean you can't stop everyone from doing something wrong. That's what I thought last night, and this is where it got me. I should have said something to him, I had no reason not to. I was just scared to voice my opinion at the time, I guess. If I could go back, I would have never gotten in that car with him behind the wheel. 12 years, I've known you for 12 years. Ever since kindergarten, and even though high school has separated us a little bit, I still want you to know that you're my best friend. I know you always brag about drinking at your house and after all these years I know that you're full of it. Nonetheless, even though I know you aren't a party animal, I don't want you to make the same mistake that I did. I don't ever want you behind the wheel of a car after one sip, or in the passenger seat with a buzzed or drunk driver. Tell my twin sister I love her, and if you ever need help with anything I know she'll have your back; even she wouldn't have made the decision I did. I know that when it comes to religion, me and you are similar when it comes to being agnostic, borderline atheist. However, for everyone that has passed away before me, I always hope there is an afterlife for them, something more. The only thing I can ask is that you do the same for me, and promise you won't follow my poor example.



How much I love you and how much I wish I would have stopped us from getting into that car with someone who was under the influence. If I would have been stronger I could have called my parents and had them pick us up...no questions asked. Instead I was too afraid to disappoint them. Now I will have to live with the guilt. I usually have wonderful discretion but for some reason that night my senses were completely off and I didn't think of the consequences. I will continue to spread the message of safe driving in your memory. This will never bring you back but I hope that you are looking down and seeing that I will make a change for you and anyone who has ever lost a loved one in a car accident. I love you.



Dear John, Today you died. I want to tell you how much you have always meant to me. You're my little brother and this wasn't supposed to happen. I shouldn't have let you get in the car with my friend. I knew she was a reckless driver and that she speeds and swerves but I never thought that her driving would amount to this: losing you. I could've just told her that we'd walk home, or that we would wait for mom to come and get us. Why didn't I do that? Why? I miss you so much. I love you Johnny. I'm going to miss coming home and seeing you sitting at the computer with your lammy and my laptop open to some episode of Lost or 30 Rock, or even the occasional Minecraft tutorial video. You always knew how much those annoyed me and it would take me hours to finally get you off so that I could take my turn on the computer. But now I realize that was all trivial. I'm never going to get to see you make the varsity swim and water polo teams when you get to high school, I'm never going to get to watch you medal in another swim meet, and I'm never going to hear you talk about your latest hiking trip for Boy Scouts. I know you always felt so alone in this world, that no one loved you, but that is untrue. So many people love you. We still love you. I know it must not have been very easy having me as a sister but just know that everything I did was out of love. I am going to miss you sitting in front of the TV and your arguments with Chooch. Who is going to be my partner in crime now? Who is supposed to scold me for not loving the cats enough? I don't think anyone could do it better than you. There is no one in the world that can possibly replace you, John. I remember that one week when you were in 5th grade and I brought you along to pole vaulting. You wore your flip flops and you must've taken 20 steps down the runway. We had to go out and buy you a pair of Nike running shoes. They were black with neon green and I just remember how goofy you looked in them; so out of your element. Still, even though you decided that you didn't want to pole vault ever again, that one week was a lot better than some of the kids your age that I know that have been vaulting for years. I think you jumped, what, six feet? Not bad for a beginner. I felt so close with you at that moment. I'm never going to forget any of the times we spent together. Whenever I eat a Sour Patch Kid, I am going to think of you. I love you little bro. Wait for me. Help me through these tough times, I'm content just knowing that you're up there or somewhere watching over all of us and laughing deviously. I miss you, Laura



Dear Ashley, Today you died. I want to tell you that I'm sorry; I'm sorry for not being smarter and making sure we had a safe ride home. I know there are not any words that will ever be able to bring you back, and for that, I feel more worthless. Why didn't I die too? Why you, and not me? We both made the bad decision; you deserve to live just as much as I do. But, that's not how life played out. I'm mad; mad at you for wearing your seatbelt in that retarded way you always do; mad at myself for not making you put it on correctly; mad at life for choosing me over you to live; and mad at the world for not having my best friend in it. I don't know how to smile anymore, I mean, is there really a point to it now? What's there to smile at? A casket is all my eyes can see. A scream is all my ears can hear. The warm blood is all I can feel on my hands. I'm sorry, Ash. Rest in Paradise for me, okay? Love and Remember Always, Your best friend, your Mooshie



Dear Mom, I want to tell you how much I love you and how truly sorry I am. You always talked about how you couldn't continue living without Julian or I, but you have to, for everyone else. Please just be strong. Julian needs you and so do grandma and grandpa. I wish I could take back so many things. I wanted my life to make up for things that I did wrong but now I don't have that time. Every day I walked out of the house before driving to school without giving you a kiss, I regret; every phone call I ended without saying I love you, I regret. Some things I simply cannot change and neither can you; please be that confident woman I know you to be. I will forever remember all those Sunday lunches we used to have, just the two of us, and when we dropped Julian off at school and we looked at each other with a look of disbelief, "Well, what do we do now?" you asked. Of course, I didn't have an answer but we figured it out. We just moved forward because that is what you do, you need to keep living. Make sure you tell Julian how sorry I am. Even with all the disagreements we used to have, we had some great laughs. He knows what he has to do and he gets it done. You need to take care of each other. We're still the team of three even though I'm not physically there. There's so much more I wish I could write but I simply cannot put it into words. Be strong, and tell Louise she now has free range to chew all my shoes. I love you, Your little baby bub



This didn't have to happen. This could have been prevented. Was trying to type 4 letters worth this? All I can think about is how you are gone, and how I don't know what I am going to do without you. You have affected so many lives, and this is what scares me. I love you, I miss you. I wish I could take those four letters back... I wish I could have told you, put your phone down. Look at the road. But i can't



That mourning me is of no use. No matter how young I was taken, my death should only serve as a message for others to learn from. Use my legacy - or whatever there is of it. Remember to think twice and to always be safe on the road. Do not mourn me, only celebrate my life and build from it. Build lasting memories of those great times and build knowledge in those around us, younger and older. Do not mourn: dedicate, celebrate, and educate. Best, V



Dear Israel, I know you considered yourself lucky, but you pushed your luck. Your decision was selfish. I miss you every second, and can't imagine how I'm supposed to continue life. You have shaken my world. I'm scared to even see your parents and sister. They love you so much. Your mom no longer has her son that she is so proud of. Your dad is useless without you, no longer yelling "Bebe" across the house and talking about conspiracies. Who is your sister supposed to prank now? What about Boujie? She needs someone to play with. Only you can get her to run through the backyard with her adorable hop. What about me? You were my best friend and boyfriend. I miss our tickle fights. No matter who I end up with I will always think that we were meant to be together. Our love was cut short by this reckless decision. There is no more us. No more you. There isn't even anymore of me left. I love you.



Dear Elijah, You are dead. Words can't explain how I feel right now. I know we are friends and I should have been more honest with you about how I felt. I didn't feel safe driving with you because of your constant reckless driving and inability to stay focused when driving. Yes, we were having fun listening to the radio and texting, but I should have told you to put the phone down and turn the radio down. If only I did, you would have still been here today. I apologize deeply. You will always be here in spirit and I will always have love for you in my heart. Your friend, Deja



Dear Mary, Michael, and Nancy, Today I died. I got in the passenger seat of my friend's car, knowing he was drunk. I made a careless, selfish decision and it cost me my life. I'm sorry I've put this enormous burden on our family, but I want you to know I love you. I know I got awkward when you guys hugged me or told me you loved me, but if I could hug you guys one last time, I would never let go. Without you guys, I would be nowhere in life. You were inspiration and my motivation to succeed. There's so many things I'm going to miss, especially the special connections I've had with each one of you. There's no other people in the world that I trust more than you guys and I want to thank you for always being there for me. There aren't enough words to express how much I'm going to miss you. I need you to tell mom and dad that I love them and miss them too. I need you to tell little Bella that Uncle Mark can't play with her anymore. And I need you to forgive me and promise me that you'll accept this. I love you guys so much.



Dear Mom and Dad, Today I died. I got in the car with her, just like I always do, just like I've always done. She always has such a good eye on the road and seems so confident driving that I didn't expect anything bad to happen ? why would it? It did. She got a text from one of her friends and decided she needed to respond to it right away. I should have said something. I should have seen it happening. I didn't. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to you this morning. I was expecting to see you tonight at dinner, talking about our day together. I guess I can't do that anymore. I'm sorry I made life so hard for you. I'll miss making you laugh. I'm sorry you'll never get to see me graduate. I'm going to miss you so much and I can't believe I'm putting you through this. I can't believe I'm never going to get to drive to school with you anymore or watch TV shows or crack stupid jokes. I should have just been more aware, but I let it slide like I always do. I didn't think it would happen to me. I'm so sorry. Those police officers at your door must have told you. I can't even imagine what that must have been like. I'm so, so sorry. I wish I could turn back time. I wish everything would just go back to normal. I love you.



Brandon, Today, I died. I was sitting in the passenger seat with a friend that was intoxicated. I thought he knew what he was doing, didn't think I'd end up like this. If I could have chosen something else, you wouldn't be reading this right now. The little things you did for me went a long way. Never would I have thought that I would end up in this situation. You bring a whole other side out of me, you know - the real me. You met me at the age of 14 and have watched me grow. I always liked having you around, you were always positive. I wish you luck with your baby girl. You'll be a great father. Show her all the great things life has to offer and everything you've tried to teach me. I won't be too far to find, my spirit remains on 5th and Broadway, only a few houses from you. I'll be at peace for once and be in my shell like a crab. My blessings will go down to you each and everyday. You can make it far in life. You have the talent and I have faith in you. Just keep me one promise: let your daughter live her life, but with limits. Oh and you have to write a song about me, or just add me into one of them. Visit me when you have the chance. Keep that beautiful smile and positive energy with you at all times. I love you =)



Today I died, mom. Today I finally realized that I shouldn't have gotten in the car with him for a ride home. I was aware of how he drove, the countless reckless driving habits he had. My mind wasn't in my head, but in my heart, I felt as if I had no better choice. You always reminded me to think twice, to always be aware of what's around me; I didn't see my friend as danger at that moment. Last thing I saw was smiles and hearty laughter before I died would seem pleasant, but on my end it wasn't. I'm sorry you couldn't see me grow up to the man I was always claiming to be, the artist you would see prove everyone wrong, the musician who broke the boundaries, set trends, I'm sorry mom for always staying out longer than I should have. If I had gone just a little earlier. I would see you, your smile, a kiss on the cheek, a touch of affection, the only affection I knew wasn't ever going to be untrue or vague. If I knew my life was in the hands of a driver whom I slightly mistrusted, I would be sitting with you now, asking how your day was, and hearing how my day wasn't.



Dear Mom, Dad, Chelsea, and Ashlie, I am sorry for texting and driving. I know I just started and that I'm supposed to do what you say, not as you do. I wish I had listened because now I have died from a car collision. I love you Mom and Dad because I have always been put first and your differences aside. I wish that I could still be able to make you smile, laugh, and be held by you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and for giving me more than I truly deserved. Dad, thank you for being my best friend when I have been stubborn and complicated. I wish I could make you and mom proud by graduating on stage and going off to college. To my two sisters, Chelsea and Ashlie, I will always love you and I'm sorry that you won't be able to see me cheer / dance on Friday night football games. I'm sorry I won't be able to bake cookies, cakes, brownies, and cupcakes with you. Chelsea, I'm sorry that I won't be able to be with you and sleep in the same bed when grandma leaves and her room's free. I'm sorry you won't be able to ask me for a massage. Ashlie, I'm sorry I won't be able to drive you around. I'm sorry I won't be able to do your hair in the mornings or sing-a-long with you. I love you all so much.



Tonight I lie sleepless, that moment replaying over and over in my head. I would do anything to go back, would give anything to stop it from happening. We lived fast, and we drove hard, but this?! This is bullshit. How did it happen?


I will never forget this day, the day I lost my friend, my partner-in-crime, someone I called my brother, the day I lost you. I refuse to believe it, yet I know it true. They always told us it was dangerous, but we didn't listen. We blew them off. How will I ever look your folks in the eyes, knowing what was going on but doing nothing to stop it? Hell, I probably encouraged it, being there with you. It was just so much fun, but nothing warrants this. Nothing, ever. All our memories we had together, I can't believe we'll never have any more.


This has to be a nightmare, it just has to be, and I'm ready to wake up.



Dear Jack,

I should have been more responsible. I knew he had been drinking, I knew he was in no condition to drive. I told you it would be okay, it wasn't. I was not in the right state of mind to make a decision like that. If only I knew that it would lead to this. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I let you down; I let myself down. I hold myself responsible for your death. I had the power to prevent this, I didn't. I'm so sorry.



Dear Jaime,

I don't know where to begin. We have been friends since elementary school. We were supposed to be "Best Friends Forever". I cannot find the words to express my grief and sadness. I don't know how I will go on without you in my life. I have many memories from all the times we spent together, but I don't have you. I have the poems you wrote, the photos of us making stupid faces on our computers, Facebook messages, but I don't have you. Why did this happen? I can't believe that you are the one that died.


I now must be the sister and daughter they will no longer have. I know that they are devastated. How can I live up to your standards? I will always love you and will live my life in your memory. My mom told me never to get into a car with someone who had been drinking or doing drugs. I never really believed that smoking weed could end up this way. I knew that Johnny had been smoking weed. I never thought it really was that big a deal. I never believed this would happen. I wish I could bring you back and that we could have one more chance. I can't believe you are gone forever.....



Dear Chloe,

What was I thinking? I was sitting right next to him. strong{He was driving and I saw him reach for his phone and start texting. I told him to just watch the road and drive, but that's all I said. I wish I had grabbed it out of his hands! I can't believe this has happened. I'm hoping it's just a nightmare and I'll wake up. Please let me wake up. I don't know what to do. I can't believe my best friend is gone. How will I continue without you? All the love, laughter and secrets that we have shared. I wish I could take yesterday back. I never imagined it could end up like this. It happened so fast...it was only a few seconds, I swear. How can you be gone?


My life will never be the same. I feel so guilty! I can't even look at your parents and sister. Everyone is so sad. I don' t know how to say goodbye to you, I can't.



Dear Maddy,

I hardly have words to say. I still cannot believe this happened. But it did. It feels unreal. I keep trying to believe it's all a bad nightmare; that I'll wake up and you'll be here, telling me your stupid jokes, laughing together about the silly childhood pranks we carried out together, remembering trips with your family and all the great summer adventures we shared. You've been like a sister to me. Always by my side when I needed help or support. The pain of not having you here is unbelievable.


Why did I tell you that it was fine to grab a ride with this guy? Just because he was going our way? How stupid was I to believe he would drive any differently than he always has? I could tell from the first few minutes in the car that he was driving crazy; that he thought it was funny. Why didn't I insist we get out of the car and find another ride? Why didn't I yell at him to pull over, that he was playing around with our lives? I just kept thinking...we're almost home, we're almost home. But we never made it, did we? YOU never made it, and for that I will always and forever carry the weight of responsibility. Your family is heartbroken. I am so unbelievably sorry...sad...remorseful. The pain of losing you is excruciating.



Yesterday, you died Preon. To utter those words are very difficult for me; we had plans Preon, your life was just beginning. What do I say to your enrollment counselor at ASU? How do I say, “My son won't be in attendance, ever?!” Your plans to continue to play football, and enjoy the college life, and the girls, as you would often say, have been cut short. I feel I have been cheated, you were not supposed to leave us this soon. Who will I look to say, “Mom, come here baby! Give me a kiss!” Who's going to kiss me for 10 seconds at a time and rub noses with me? When Haley wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese who's going to take her? When Jaedyn wants to shoot some hoops or play at the park, who will take her? When Prettie heads for your room and closes the door behind her to tell you her secrets, who will be there to listen to her? When she goes on her first date, who will she call? Where will her big brother be? Who will Daddy watch sports with and talk about the Raiders with? Who will be the life of the party?



Preon, from the day you were born, I just looked at you and I knew you would be great. I know every parent feels this way, but I knew you would be great. You were such a unique child; building things with Lego's that most three-year-olds could not build. Your interest in Lego's and Jurassic Park as a child led me to believe that you would be interested in exactly what you're interested in now…architecture and paleontology. Your dad and I had hopes and dreams for you, for your life. That has all changed now and I'm finding it difficult to live without you. As my first born and only son, we shared a unique bond. I don't know how I can go on without you. I feel as though someone has squeezed the air out of me. We will never know what could have been and I feel so cheated. My children are my life. How do I breathe without you in my life? I taught you to be strong, and to go after your dreams, but that is now impossible for you, so I will continue to dream for you and be strong. I have to be strong; your sisters are counting on me.


My son, my love, my life, I love you and I miss you.


Love Mommy



Today you died. No longer will your beautiful smile and your laughter light up the room. Your girlfriends have lost a devoted and empathetic friend. Travis has lost the love of his life. Your grandparents have lost part of their heart. Kendall has lost her big sissy. And Dad and I have lost everything.


What do I say to all these people that loved you so much? How do I tell them that life goes on so we must keep moving forward, even without the sunshine that you brought into our lives?


I don't think I can go on. My life has been all about you for 18 years. From homemade baby food, to cloth diapers, to hundreds of books, school volunteer hours, late night typed papers, endless meals and laundry. You say I smothered you, but I wanted to and I needed to, because you were my baby and my soul mate. And I wasn't ready for you to grow up. Now, you never will. You will never argue with me again, tell me to shut up, say you hate what I made for dinner or tell me to leave you alone. And you will never experience the fun and freedom of college, the euphoria of getting married and the joy of having a family of your own.


Together we have balanced the demands of home life with the rest of life. We haven't always been successful, but only you can understand my life and my successes and failures, just as I have learned to understand yours. We still had a lot of work to do. Just as I wasn't ready to let you grow up, I'm not ready to say goodbye. I want to grow old knowing I can talk to you anytime. I need to be able to talk to you, because only you understand.


My heart is broken, my soul aches, and my sorrow will never end. I will live each day for the rest of my life praying that God is taking good care of you in heaven, since I can't anymore. I'm sure you are making him smile. His gain is my loss; one from which I will never recover.


Today I lost my soul mate. I love you Lauren, and will miss you until we meet in heaven.


Mom

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