There’s just no way this is happening. And yet, against everything my soul is fighting against, I find that it’s true. You see, one of my dearest friends, Crystal, has passed away. As I sit here looking at a blank computer screen, it seems unfathomable to me to believe that my friend, my “bestie,” my partner-in-crime, has passed. It doesn’t seem possible that someone so full of life, love and laughter wouldn’t be with us any longer. All day, I’ve passed through a myriad of emotions ranging from sadness, denial, depression, anger, despair, numbness – and as I type this, I’m in complete and utter shock that all of this has happened.
My dear, sweet friend Crystal is one of those people who is an absolute joy to be around. She has a way of making you smile, laugh, even feel good about the world around you even when everything is crashing down and miserable. Through the years, she’s been a rock to so many people, and someone who has always been there to encourage those who are downtrodden to get up and try again. If there was ever a person who was an angel in disguise, it’s definitely her. I can’t count how many times she’s been there for me, encouraged me… I simply can’t believe it. I keep thinking this just doesn’t seem real, that there has to be some mistake. She is the one who stood by me when times were hard, and gave me the strength to carry on when I thought there was nowhere left to go.
She has always been there for me, regardless of the circumstances. If I needed a shoulder to cry on, she was there. If I needed to vent, she was there. If I needed someone to just be a friend and joke around with, she was there. I remember how she was such a support to me in difficult times, and such a friend during good times. There were so many times we joked with each other about doing our Cher impersonations in our own version of carpool karaoke that it almost seemed to be iconic moments in time. Now, looking back, the lyrics, “If I could turn back time,” have never been so poignant.
There have been so many people who have been touched by her love and generosity, even some who would never have the honor of meeting her face-to-face. Crystal has always been the person you could count on to quietly lend a hand to the homeless, the downtrodden, the abused; anyone who needed love and compassion was sure to find it if they came in contact with her. Even those who will never know it was her have been recipients of her love and kindness: from those who benefited from shoebox gifts at Christmas and various other charities, to those who were in the domestic violence shelter… these people benefited in some way from her generosity and love.
Crystal has always been extremely loyal to her family and friends, and we were blessed to count ourselves in that number. I personally know that during times of great sadness and despair, she has always been there for me to help me in any way she possibly could. There are very few people in this world today who have the courage to show the kind of love and compassion Crystal showed. It’s not everyday you discover these people, and my life has truly been made so much better and richer for having known her.
The main, driving force in her life was her Christian faith. I realize this has been said about many people, but Crystal is one of the few people who actually “walked the walk” instead of “talking the talk,” as so many people phrase it. There are many examples of her good works I could share, but the most obvious example of her faith has been her desire to help others around her. If there was ever a person you could count on to fight for what’s right in this world, it would be her. I’ve witnessed her do everything in her power to help pick others up and lend a hand in times of need. If you ever needed anyone in your corner, you were extremely blessed to find Crystal there.
I hope to one day be half the person she was in this life. To find such a person to walk along beside, even if only for a short time in this journey, is a rare blessing. I’m extremely thankful to have shared this time with Crystal, and I look forward to meeting her again on the other side of eternity.
I love you, my friend. I’m so heartbroken you’re gone, but I know you’re better now and happier now than you have ever been. We may be parted right now, but I know in my heart this isn’t the end. I’ll see you again, and I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to in heaven. Until then, know that those of us who are left will keep watch over each other, and always hold you close in our hearts.