“I met Kiersten here in the auditorium. We were at Showstoppers, which is a show choir camp. I remember, we were just about to go on stage, she was one of the only people I hadn’t talked to. She was standing right behind me, I don’t remember exactly what I said but I turned around and was sort of like “Hey! We’re friends!”. That’s how it all started.
We started texting a lot from there and became really good friends after that. That was 7th & 8th grade. I think at the time she reminded me of another friend that was really supportive and so I thought she seemed like someone I already knew. She seemed familiar to me.
The way she was always radiated positivity was really cool. She was very, not necessarily quirky, she had her weird moments. She was a very funny person and I admired that. When we hung out, we’d watch YouTube videos for 3-4 hours. She was obsessed with YouTube at the time (junior high.)
When she moved to Herron, we didn’t talk as much as we did before, which I regret. But it happens. We didn’t completely lose touch. She always came to the choir concerts we had. We’d still talk a lot.
The minute we started hanging out we just hit it off. She would always be a friend that I would have and always be able to lean back on. Even when she moved to Herron and we were a little bit distant, we still were good friends. We didn’t stop talking to each other. She was always the one I could rely on and knew would have my back, and I’d have hers. I was thankful to have someone like that in my life. She was always someone I could rely on or talk to and she was open as well. It was always nice to talk to her about things, when it got hard.
Most of the times we’d talk, it would be when she’d give me rides home. We’d always talk and listen to music, and talk about how our lives were going, which was really nice. We just opened up and let everything out during those times. We started getting closer around the time of her death.”
“I feel like we connected through music. She loved bands like One Direction and 5SOS, which I thought was really funny because she was such a fan about it. We loved music. When we first met she was obsessed with Pentatonix and I loved Pentatonix at the time too. Homecoming last year Kiersten, Kaya and me were listening to Phantom of the Opera. She was pretending to be a Soprano 1. She was like screaming the soprano notes. We listened to music all the time.
Like I said before, she radiated positivity wherever she went. There was nothing you could be mad at her for. She was very welcoming and open. You didn’t have to be a certain someone to be a part of her friend group. I admired that. She was very open about herself.
For me, her death was a lot different than other deaths I’ve experienced. With Kiersten, she was my friend who I saw everyday. I grieved immediately. Her death made me feel like I
lost an old memory of myself. Like losing something you wish you could still have, but obviously you don’t get to have anymore. I was very angry at first. I thought “Why her? Why did it have to be her?”. She was one of the nicest people I’ve met, and it wasn’t fair. I’ve slowly started to accept it now, but it’s still very hard.
When she first passed, I thought “If she was this kind, this nice, this welcoming, then why couldn’t I be?”. So I tried to be as kind as possible and tried to be happy. Which isn’t always an easy thing which made me admire Kier a lot more. She was always that way. You would never know if she was sad. She always had a smile on her face. She was very real. She wasn’t fake about anything about herself. I try to look upon that and do the best I can to do that. I think it’s a really good quality in someone.
I think if Kier had been the one to lose a friend or a classmate, she would be sad and hurt. But then she’d soon realize that other people are hurt and need emotional strength and someone there that was supportive. I think she would be that for a lot of people.
My favorite memories with her were always our drives. We’d get bored and go driving somewhere and just listen to music. Being with her was always a good time. We’d just keep driving. We listened from anything like Broadway Musicals to Pop, it really didn’t matter.
We were hanging out a lot more just prior to her death. We’d been somewhat distant for awhile, and then saw each other again, and picked up where we left off. That’s how it was with Kier and me. One of our friends birthdays was two days before she passed. We all got together and watched a movie and went to Applebee’s and she drove me home. It was fun that we got to be together that night. She dropped me off at my house, which was funny because she didn’t realize I lived on a farm. She made a big deal about me being a “farm boy” and I’m definitely not a farm boy. It was a little funny goodbye.
She’d always say I love you. When we’d miss each other, we’d text out of the blue just to say I love you. There were times that I’d hate on myself about my singing and she’d always compliment me and boost me up. That was the kind of person she was.
A lot of people were skeptical of her death at first. No one could believe that it was real. We were all kind of like “What’s going on and who made up this lie?”. It wasn’t a lie, we realized, and got a lot worse from there. Everyone started freaking out. It wasn’t good. The day after, at school, it brought a lot of people together. That day was filled with people hugging each other and sobbing into one another’s shoulders. It was a sad day, but a very needed day. I didn’t want to go to school that day, but my parents made me go. I’m thankful for that now because I had people to lean back on and rely on. It was very comforting.
If I could, I’d tell her I’m sorry for missing out on time with her, but that ultimately I’m very thankful for the time we did have. Obviously, I’d tell her that I love her. I still talk to her now. I send her text messages. #friendsofkier