Death is like the lottery, except you are automatically entered to win, and you have no idea when you are going to win. For most, this is not something you want to win, but you have no control over who wins, and when, or that should be the case. When people behave stupidly and make people do dangerous things, it can change the whole game.
When Matt died, I received a call from my Mom saying what had happened, but she didn’t know how it had happened. Then I realized that death was real, and not just for people on the news or your Great-Grandma you never met. No one is going to see Matt in the physical form ever again. His positive attitude, witty remarks and fun personality were good to be around. Amazingly enough Matt got me off my lazy butt and got me playing catch, or Frisbee. He was always nice enough to give up his turn on the Nintendo whenever his cousins came over.
I asked “and for what?” What was he doing when it happened, who was he with, what could have happened? No more Matt at Thanksgiving or Christmas, we knew even when he went away we would also be with him on those two family holidays. No one is the same, everyone is all blue and sad and to see other people sad, it bums me out.
Right after it happened I started raising money for the Matt Carrington Fund, I have a can with over $70 raised from selling tootsie roll pops at my school. It made me feel like I was doing something to keep him alive, but I realized it couldn’t bring him back. I still want to do stuff, I just get sad when I have to think about the reason I was selling that candy.
I don’t like talking about it because the whole tone of the day turns from happy, to sad. I’m going to always miss Matt, but mostly I try not to think it ever happened. I can pretend he is away at school, or grown up and moved away. It’s hard to not think about him because he has done so many good things and I want to hear the stories about things I never knew about. It’s true the good die young….but why? Why not bad people?
I hope that the bad people that did this learn from their mistakes. I hope they have to face their families and their families ask “How? Why?” and they have to see what they did reflected in the eyes of everyone they meet. I hope they tell others, we were dumb, don’t be dumb like we were, it’s just not worth it. I hope they have time to reflect on what they did to Matt, and his parents, and my cousin Travis, and all of Matt’s cousins and Aunts and Uncles, and friends. Matt had a lot of friends, and a lot of people who love him still. I know one day I will have to accept what I know to be true, and have to think about it, and I am not looking forward to that day because it will break my heart.
Matt’s Cousin – 14 years old