Jake’s memorial through one senior’s eyes


photo by Isabella McCutcheon

Many students and community members have left flowers and other tokens of appreciation at Jake’s memorial to show their love.

At first glance the road is meaningless.

The trees are nearly dead and the wind howls with anger and yet there is still meaning to this path. Upon first arrival you may not understand its significance until you drive along the straightaway, and there you see the meaning.

Burned trees, tires marks, and flowers. You can see that there was an effort in the evasion.

As I sit here it’s nearly silent but yet the air is filled with sound and pain, sniffles and tears and merely confusion. I find myself questioning why or how knowing that I won’t get an answer, yet I still ask them. See the weekend has slowly been passing like watching petals fall off of a flower but yet it’s a weekend that I wish I could take back. Who would’ve thought that would be my last time hearing your voice or seeing you smile.

The flowers contrasted the scene so beautifully, who would’ve thought that black could mix so well with blue, red, and white. It’s hard honestly, to sit here and look at that picture, because I remember taking it like it was yesterday. I struggle because I can’t really fathom that this is the last time I’ll see you in person. To my left, friends and family members supporting you, to my right is you.

It’s hard to describe the sensation but I can feel your energy. I know you’re here and yet you remain silent and refuse to answer my questions even though you’re only a few feet away. This has to be at least the 20th time I’ve visited you this weekend and it doesn’t get any easier. I miss you. It’s hard not to smell the cologne you always wore or to just picture the smile you used to always walk around school with. Now that it’s only me and you I just want to ask what happened because I can’t seem to wrap my head around what went wrong.

I look at the sky and I know you can understand because the winds start to pick up, the candles almost fell over and plastic wrapped flowers started to fight back from flying away. I left my necklace for you, in hopes that you wear it wherever you are and appreciate it. I remember you telling me that it was “dope.” It was gold and carried an ankh pendant, a symbol of mortality, to remind you that although you may not physically be here, I will continue to live my life with the thought of you to keep you alive.

It’s still hard for me to forgive you because you left without saying goodbye, but my soul can lay its head knowing that my last words were “I love you.” I still wonder what we would’ve talked about in that podcast that we were planning. It couldn’t have been about football because you were too complex for such a narrow subject. I can’t find it in me to cry anymore. I just find myself calling and texting you, begging and pleading that you reply.

But even then, if you can find a way text me back, tell me what it’s like. I love you “2.”