Talk to people like it’s the last time you will

In my psychology class the other day we briefly discussed the ways that people cope with the death of someone close to them, and it reminded me of something I wrote a year or so back. I have decided to rehash it.
My sophomore year of high school I began writing for the school newspaper. In that class, I made a lot of friends and met a lot of interesting people. Not only that, but it sparked my interest in journalism as a whole and has helped me to decide on a major.
Throughout the time that I was in that class, friendships forged and some fell apart. One of the people that I worked with on the staff was a girl named Kari Buchman. If you have lived in Liberal for several years now or recently graduated from the high school here, you may have known her in some way.
Kari was not someone that I was incredibly close to, nor someone I ever spent time with outside of that class. She was just someone that I worked with on the newspaper staff, but someone who I got along with and could be civil with at least. Being in the same class in the same room at the same time for about two and a half years can usually create a relationship like that.
Unfortunately one of the only real memories I have of really talking to Kari was on her last day of class. She was a grade level ahead of me, so that meant that she would be getting out of school about a week before me. I recall very clearly the brief conversation that we had. She asked me if I would miss her after she graduated and was gone.
“Hah, no.” I said. The same sarcastic personality that I’ve had all of my life, I suppose.
Within the first few months of school my senior year the newspaper teacher informed our class that Kari had died. She had health problems that she had struggled with for as long as I knew her and even before then.
All I could think about was the last time I talked to her. Was that really all that I had said? Had I honestly been that cold to someone who was always so kind to me?
Talking in psychology about coping with the loss of someone you know made me think of this all over again, and it really made me think about the importance of saying what you really mean to people. There is no reason to hide behind foolish pride or whatever you want to call it. Let people know how you really feel, and tell them what you really think. You never know if it is going to be the last time you really get a chance to talk to somebody.
Kanye West seems like an odd person to think of as I recall all of this, but it reminds me of some lyrics to one of his songs in which he says, “If you admire somebody, go ahead and tell them. Nobody ever gets the flowers while they can still smell them.”