Dealing with the Loss of a College Roommate
Dealing with a loss of a loved one is crippling. I lost my best friend and roommate when she was only 31. With so much life still ahead and all of it taken away so soon.
Back in college I lived with multiple people but for 2.5 years of college, Ashley and I were roommates. Per roommate fashion, we lived in the same room, wore each other’s clothes and fought like an old married couple.
We met at work and instantly formed a bond over lip gloss and big jewelry. We did everything together. We worked out, went for margaritas after, shopped, tanned, visited our families, everything.
Eventually, I moved out to finish college a year ahead of her and like most friendships, life gets busy and they fade away.
We kept in touch every now and then. Sending eachother old pictures, songs, and memories we had so dramatically shared.
She found the love of her life and moved to Arizona and I went back to school for yet another degree.
While scrolling social media, as most people find things out, her sister posted that she had passed away peacefully.
My gut dropped. I had just talked to her a few months back and she didn’t mention anything was wrong.
I messaged friends, family, and acquaintances of hers to figure out how such a young healthy girl was not on this planet anymore.
I was the first to find out about her passing and as I delivered the news to our other roommates, I could feel my world getting a little smaller.
I cried all the way to work and when I parked, I sobbed there for another 20 minutes in my car. How could someone be taken away so quickly? How could she be sick and not tell anyone?
Her sister said that the funeral would be a month away because she was being cremated and sent back to Illinois. I stalked her Facebook page to see if anyone would elude to the reason she passed but not one person gave it away, while many asked why.
I went to the funeral with another close friend. As we walked in, they had separated the different parts of Ashley’s life on photo boards. We walked through her life and eventually got to her college days where all our pictures were. We all smiled and chuckled because of course they posted some pretty outrageous pictures of our past.
We made our way into the church and that’s when I saw it.
An urn, in pink.
And I lost it.
How could Ashley, my roommate, someone so full of life, be in that tiny container? It’s a very surreal feeling. The entire time I was waiting for her to pop out of a corner and tell everyone it was some sick prank. Part of me still doesn’t believe it.
As I looked around, all the flowers were glittered with peacock feathers; Ashley’s favorite.
The ceremony was beautiful and I didn’t stop crying for over two hours.
I cried because she was so young. I cried watching two parents lay their baby girl to rest.
I cried for her sisters and her nieces and nephews that sat in the front row trying to figure out how life would go on without Ashley. I cried thinking about what if that was my sister?
I cried because life is not fair, too short, and everyone takes it for granted. I cried because we lost touch and I should have made more of an effort.
When I got home, I walked into the house, went straight to my sister who was sitting on the couch and hugged her. And then I started crying again which made her cry.
We say it all the time, but tell the people you love how you feel. Tell them you need them, miss them, and are happy they are in your life.
While I never took my life for granted, I was certainly humbled a little more.
You wonder what people will say about you when you die. How will they perform the eulogy, what pictures will they show, how many people will come? Did you live the life you wanted?
Most days I see her. I see her in the stars, the rain, I hear her in the songs on the radio, and everything that was every created pink. She reminds me that life is short and to appreciate every.single.second.
Ashley- I will probably cry every time I hear our songs. Which, maybe is a good thing. It brings me back to what is important on the days when I might forget. I know you are jamming upstairs, keeping the stars shining bright. If you could drop some of your energy dust and sparkle on me every once in awhile, I would appreciate it. Love you pretty girl.
If you would like more info on grief and loss, check out this article.
Ashley and Me