This I Believe: Losing a Friend Made Me Appreciate the People In My Life


Photo By Emma Hutchinson

Hedayat Ebrahim Khel and friends teach other students about their culture at the Global Expo on campus last fall.

Sumaya Mayaar, Guest Writer

I believe that we may not know who is important to us until we actually lose them. Two years ago, when I moved to the U.S, I left all of my friends and relatives back in Afghanistan. Here I had no friends to hang out with because I did not know English well and it was hard for me to open up to the people that I did not know. All I had was my family. I felt alone, and over time I noticed how important my friends were to me. My friends were valuable but I never noticed until they were far away from me. They were always there for me when I needed help. We had so much fun together. I felt so much joy when I saw them and I felt sad when they were saying goodbye. That bright smile in their faces, playing in the backyard in the windy evenings. Staying up until two a.m. and sharing our dreams, our stories. I miss those happy days.

My grandmother would always say “Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.” She was right. When I lost someone suddenly, someone that I never thought of losing, I realized how valuable they were to me. This belief comes to me over and over, and that’s why I strongly agree that we do not know the value of someone or something until we lose them. This is a warning for me to appreciate the people in my life and not take them for granted.

One reason I believe this is true is that I have noticed that when something becomes repetitive and familiar to me I lose perspective about its value. For example, I was used to seeing my friend, Hedayat Ebrahim Khel every day at school. He would come to class wearing the black Raiders’ sweatshirt and had a bright smile on his face. Everything was normal and we would talk and tease each other.

Last month he passed away in a car accident. This news was unbelievable because I never imagined him dying. Slowly I realized how important he was to me. I had memories of him everywhere. He was dancing with so much joy on culture day in Rio, and I remember very vividly that he was complaining about how hungry he was that day. I can see him teasing his friends and making them laugh. He would always speak up in class, always with so much confidence and bravery. But now it is too late to tell him how much everyone loved and appreciated his existence. My days without seeing his face are harder because I feel like I have lost something that can never be found again.

Enjoy the little things in life because someday you will realize they are the big things. Think of how lucky you are to have someone you can be completely comfortable around. Enjoy every moment because one day those moments will become a memory that will never happen again. Appreciate people in your life. Say thank you to them, let them know why you adore them. Tomorrow is never promised, so love and appreciate the people who are in your life.