I’m going to be graduating this May. And while I’ll be sad to leave this place and the people here, I know I’m lucky to live in a world where I can talk to my friends without much trouble, and that we’ll stay connected.

I can’t stop thinking about the one person who should have been graduating with me, but won’t. The person who I’ll never be able to talk to again and who I haven’t been able to talk to since she took her own life here a few years ago.

Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten about her, and everything’s fine, and it’s as if she’s never been a part of my life, but then memories of her strike me like a bolt when I don’t expect them. Everything else seems frozen and small and irrelevant and I can’t speak or think about anything. The sheer emptiness is overwhelming. It can’t be filled or understood; I just have to give it respect until it passes.

When she was alive, we weren’t even very close. We had a class together our first semester. It was one of those classes only freshmen take, with 20 or so people, meant more to help you adjust to Binghamton University than to improve academically. I hung out with her a few times since then, but we were never really in the same social circles.

I don’t even remember what we talked about, and I try so hard to remember those conversations, to do my small part to remember her and to honor her memory, but it’s so difficult. When she was alive, I hadn’t thought about the space she held in my life, but if I did, I would have thought that it was small. If she had thought about my importance in her life, I’m sure she would have come to the same conclusion. When she died, I knew how wrong I was about her importance in my life. Her space is incomprehensibly large. Her absence unbending.

I remember the night she died. I was awake at a late hour — one of those hours where it’s just you and a couple of other people on the East Coast and a friend or two from Europe or Australia. There was a green dot next to her name. I still think about how that green dot winked out — how I’ll never see it again.

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