He was one of us


Nathan Desai

This story was written by Nathan Desai and Gabriella Monico.

“Who was it? Do you know who it was? When will they tell us?”

These questions circulate through our classrooms, our quads, our hallways. They make their way through the minds of each Matador because we all long for answers. An explanation. The truth. However, there are no answers. And even when we know which fellow Matador was taken from us, even when the coroner files a report with an official cause of death, we still won’t have any answers. An explanation is an evasive thing in a tragedy.

And as we try to answer that question and understand who he was, we aren’t trying to answer the right question.

Because his name, grade, extracurriculars, classes and traits don’t answer the question, “Who was he?”

They answer a question that’s even easier to answer.

“Did I know him?”

The answer is yes. We all did.

Sure, you may have never met him before. You may not know his name. You may not know what he looked like.

But you did know him.

He is any one of us. Look at how many bikes are in the bike rack today. He is there. Look at how many students you see in your next class. He is there. Look at how many people you see at lunch. He is there.

It doesn’t matter if he was your best friend, a classmate or someone you had never even met before. You knew him.

So stop questioning. Does it matter who it was? Does it make the community’s loss, our loss or his family’s loss any less potent?

It’s natural to attempt to understand what happened to find a justification of sorts. We’ve been taught from a young age to question and seek answers. But sometimes we can’t do that.

What we can do is take the time to feel our feelings. To grieve and pay our respects to our fellow student and his family. We can — and we should — come to the candlelight vigil at MVHS tonight at 7:00 p.m. We can — and should — wear purple tomorrow in his honor. We can — and we should — stop asking who it was.

Because what matters is that he was a Matador.

And he always will be.