This was taken from my BellRinger in AP Language after the passing of a friend and classmate. Externalization of these feelings is a crucial part of this process. 

Loss sucks. The emptiness you feel, the emotions that overwhelm you. It's powerful. However cliche, understanding what you truly had only comes after loss. And such is the dreaded circle of life and death. Those who knew her, cherished her; those that lost her, miss her. Loss is powerful. Signs in the halls, posts on social media, and even blue all give us a sense of hope and connection. As friends, as classmates, and as humans we share this pain. Those with the comfort of religion find hope in her journey to a better place. Those without religion rely on empathy for the family and close friends. 

This happened less than 36 hours ago, and until now I haven't cried. I have internalized these emotions, which does nothing to show comfort. This internalization gives me strength; I won't show weakness. But it also makes me scared. I am scared that I cannot empathize with others. I am scared I do not share this loss, and I am scared I will be remembered for that.

I wake up everyday to a new sunrise. Another day I have been given, and another day someone else has lost. I do not feel grateful to have woken up, but I feel sorry for having been given that opportunity over someone else. I feel as though I'm empty, yet only externally. 

I have suffered loss. I have endured pain, I have loved. I have felt hate. But above all, I have pursued happiness. Everyday I reach for greatness, and everyday I fail. Failure is another step in the journey that is life. I know I am not alone in this journey, and I know that I am lucky. And I am scared that luck will run out, as it has for my grandmother and grandfather, as it has for my aunt, and as it has for Brooke.