Class of 201X will never forget this day. We lost one of our best friends and greatest inspirations this morning. People always talk about knowing someone “will do great things” when they’re older, but the truth is that some people are born doing great things. They don’t wait to be “older” to be heroes. Craig was one of those people. For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been smiling and making people laugh. He was always kind and funny and would go out of his way to brighten someone’s day. He’s not going to be walking across the stage with us at graduation, but he will always be in our hearts. The whole school is silent today, and I think we’re all just holding our breath, praying to suddenly hear his laugh. Maybe if we’re quiet enough, we’ll hear him say hello or ask how we’re doing. He would be that kind of person; no matter what he was going through, he’d always want to know if we were okay. (Don’t worry, Craig. I’m not sure how yet, but we’re going to be okay. You taught us how to laugh, and I think that can get us through an awful lot.)
Craig, you and I weren’t the closest. I didn’t have any classes with you this semester, and I almost never got to see you in the halls. You were never in the “Frequent” contacts section of my phone or on the “Close Friends” page for FaceBook. We were friends, but we weren’t best friends. Even so, I can’t imagine [school name] without you. I can’t imagine walking through the halls and never hearing you say hi to me again. I can’t imagine years without your playful smile or your quick jokes. I can’t imagine not graduating alongside you and seeing you do amazing things after high school. The truth is, you’ve already done amazing things, though. You’ve made more people smile than could ever be counted. You’ve brightened every room you’ve walked into and changed lives with your positive attitude and easy laugh. You’ve reminded people they have value and worth and that people care about them, just by going out of your way to talk to them or walk them to class. You called people “beautiful” and tested out pickup lines like a pro. You’ve made me laugh on days where I would have thought it was impossible, and, even as I’m writing to you, trying to understand that you’re really, truly gone, I’m smiling at all the memories you’ve left. Craig, I don’t know how Class of 201X is ever going to be able to move on without you, but you’ll always be in our hearts. You left a legacy at this school that can never be erased. We love you, Craig. Rest in peace.
With love to Craig and his family,