I was reluctant to post about this because it is depressing, but it is also very important. You should strive to be important to your friends, to be remembered favorably.

It was nine years ago today that my mother called to tell me about a bus crash in Colorado. I was 17 and shrugged off the bus crash; “who cares?” I thought. An hour later I heard a knock on the door. I went downstairs, opened the door, and found three of my friends hanging their heads. As they raised their chins to look at me I noticed puffy eyes. One quietly said, “He’s dead. Chris is dead.” I froze in an overwhelming rush or emotions and quickly started bawling. We all comforted one another, and after a minute I calmed down enough to thank them for telling me. We then drove to a mutual friend’s house and suffered together.

Chris Scarberry, one of my best friends, had died in a terrible bus accident that killed three people. All this just days before Christmas after a wonderful ski trip. Needless to say, I did not have a merry Christmas. The young punk in me was humbled. The flippant “who cares?” came back to bite me. I cared. I cared a lot. I was depressed for months. I struggled to find meaning. I still do. It was terrible and unfair.

Mortality hit me and I realized I had to make life count. I also saw what it meant to be important to your friends. Relationships make life worth living. Chris was a great person and a great friend; he’s been very influential in my life. The memory of Chris lives on in me as I follow the path he and I were on together.

Are you the kind of friend that someone would write about nine years later?