Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vanessa Ann Bentley

Yesterday my best friend died. She was in a car accident. I am still in complete shock. I keep asking, "Why? Why her? Why while she was on her mission? Why this way?" I know that it does no good to ask why, but I can't help it.

Vanessa and I met freshman year. We exchanged emails before we even met, and I knew we would become good friends. What I didn't know was how she would change my life forever. We lived together for 2 1/2 years and were friends for 4 including this last year of her mission. In the last 4 years, out of every person in the world, I have spent the most time with Vanessa. Vanessa was a sister to me, no matter what anyone else says.

Vanessa was one of the happiest and most joyful people I have ever met. She loved laughing and did it easily and often. She always made you feel funnier than you were, which was good until you went out into the real world again and realized that no one else thought you were funny like she did. She sang a lot and was always full of energy. She had such a strong testimony of the gospel and lived it to its fullest.

I have to say that this has been the most difficult experience of my life. When I heard the news from her mom, I was in shock. I couldn't contain my grief and I just sobbed. It was more of a hyperventilation, but still just sobs. My heart broke like it never had before. The pain has softened a little, but it is still right there at the surface. All I have done for the last 30 hours is think about Vanessa. Think about her life, look at her pictures, write down memories, cry, laugh, and cry again. The pain I feel in losing this friend is something I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. I love Vanessa. She made me promise that I wouldn't get married before she got back so that she could be at my wedding. I know that she will still make it there, even if I can't see her.

During this time I can't help but think how I would be feeling if I didn't have a knowledge of the afterlife. If I didn't know that Vanessa was happy and exalted, how much more devastated would I be? I am eternally grateful that I know that Vanessa is happy and alright. I know the Lord is looking out for her and her family and I am forever grateful that I was able to have her in my life, even if it was just for a short while. I feel honored.

I know that we will be friends throughout the eternities. I love you Vanessa Bentley. I will never forget you and I promise to live my life in a way that will make you proud. I will try every day to live up to my potential. I will not let you down. Love you the hot one. Help us as we struggle through this life that you are now done with. Miss you always.