Last night, I learned (via the gossip mill that is a typical Facebook news feed) that a former classmate of mine passed away on Saturday. I went to elementary school, middle school, and high school with the individual and I can honestly say that he was one of the nicest guys I had ever meet (and my parents agree). By high school, he had the physical prowess of someone who could put anyone who crossed his path into some serious physical pain, but I don't think that really in his nature. My dad saw this person at Menard's, maybe a year ago, and he still greeted him with a hearty, "Hello, Mr. Armstrong!" as if he were still a nice 4th grader who lived in my neighborhood. Matt, you had a good heart and you will greatly missed.
Matt graduated in my class. He is my age...and his body failed him. I can't even imagine...I just...I don't know, guys, I don't what to say. I know what to say when someone takes a ton of drugs and commits suicide, I know what to say when the best friend you ever made in group therapy stops returning your calls before being found dead in her apartment, but...I don't know what to say when young people who led good, clean lives are taken down by their own bodies. It baffles me.
What I do have to say might sound like a downer, but clearly, life is too short. Life is too short to stress over the little things. Life is too short to stay angry with people. To short to second guess yourself, to short to pass on opportunities, too short to live without really living.
So to all the other twentysomethings out there (especially the younger half), if you were gone tomorrow, could you say that you had truly lived in your short life? I am already making strides to stop being frightened of new opportunities, of making less rules for myself. Yes, we should take care of our bodies, but we should also be certain that we are making the most of our lives, of cherishing every single moment that we have on this Earth.
And also, if you love someone, if you cherish someone's friendship, or if you just think someone is quirky character and you're glad to have them in your life, tell them. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, say something. You never know when it will your last opportunity.
Love, peace, and comfort to all who knew Matt. <3 <3