I knew him as Tré. I didn’t know him very well, and I didn’t know him very well, but his smile was unforgettable. He came to play pick-up ultimate Frisbee a few times and my fiancé and I would drive him home. In fact, my fiancé had made plans to play the first weekend of March when Tré was his server at Texas Steakhouse.
Mark had called and told me he’d run into Tré and that they’d been able to catch up since Mark was gone at the Police Academy every week.
February 28th I received a call from my future mother-in-law. Tré had been killed in a car crash. She asked me if we should tell Mark, her son, and my fiancé. Instantly my body started to shut down. I was shaking and cold, and then hot. How was I supposed to tell the love of my life that one of his childhood friends was dead?
The next night, Mark used his weekly phone call to me. I was shaking as I answered the phone. He got to it before me. Apparently his brother, who is a state trooper, had called the Police Academy and asked to talk to Mark.
The following week was a very emotional time. At times I felt like I didn’t even have the right to grieve because I didn’t know Tré well. Still, I would see his smile and hear his laugh, and my eyes would overflow. I remembered the words of the pastor’s eulogy “there are no words for a time like this.”
The week after the funeral I worked the TEDx event. Ali Hillman and Ellie Hogg spoke about their Eulogy Project. The idea behind the project is that it’s important to express your appreciation of people while they are here. I was struck by the significance of this as it was so closely juxtaposed by the death of a young 19 year-old.
Ali and Ellie successfully created a way to talk about a subject that was previously taboo. It might be cliché, but it is important to express appreciation for those you love, because you truly never know how long you will get to spend with them. So, as Ali and Eli concluded their talk “may we all live in peace.”
– Delyn Bull