Writing by Andy Reyes // photograph by Marat Safin
CW: Mention of rape and murder
Eight years ago my life changed forever. A dear friend of mine was raped and murdered in Mexico City. The life I knew would never be the same again. One of my best friends never returned home. Death is something that we will all experience at some point in our life but we are never really prepared to lose a loved one so young.
I will never understand why this happened, situations like this will leave me with questions for my whole life. Everyone’s life has been changed because of the actions of one person, we have started a life without our friend by our side and we are learning to live without them. For me the anxiety that I experienced after these events was very difficult. I was always with the fear that the same thing would happen to me so I stopped going to school and I did not leave my house.
At age 17, you do not expect to go to the cemetery to leave flowers for your friend.
A few days ago I had a strong anxiety attack and I had to go to the hospital because I was scared I was dying. This is the worst anxiety attack I have had in 8 years. I will never stop mourning the death of my friend, but life goes by and you learn to live with suffering.
Anxiety is a real affliction that affects many people but often we do not give it the importance we should, after all you can not miss work because your mind does not stop thinking terrible things, sometimes when I go to school I imagine I will die crossing a street, I feel that all my loved ones will die and I will not be able to save them day by day. It is a challenge to keep going and we have to learn to live every single day.
Sometimes my friend comes to visit me in my dreams. I would like people to know that some wonderful people were here, if only for a while. They will live on in our dreams, words and actions and we can look after ourselves and care for others as a tribute to their beautiful, short lives.[share]