Nothing is so easy as building close friendships and nothing is quite so hard as letting them go. This is going to be a slight change of pace for me and the silly columns that I normally write (not to mention the silly picture). There are no words to describe what it is like to lose a close friend. Everyone will go through it in their lifetime - the death of an important companion, whether it be friend or family.
I am in the middle of facing this scenario right now, one of my best friends from home. So, what do we do to cope with such an important loss? We talk about the absence, the good times and try not to remember any of the fights or bad times. We must be there for her family and the other people who shared the same adoration for her life.
I have been thinking very seriously about the best way to continue on the legacy of having a friend pass away. Especially a friend who has been a partner in crime and the first person you call when you have a really good date and call immediately to laugh about a really bad one. My friend was a life-liver. Everything she did she did to the maximum. She had a laugh that made anyone smile because it was so jovial and contagious. I hear it every time I close my eyes. There is little doubt in my mind that I won't always hear it when I want to delve into the memories I have of good friends and what it takes to be one. It has always puzzled me how the good die young, the most happily married couples lose a spouse and how the meanest people come out on top. Apparently, life struggles come to everyone in a different way that is not always understood at the time.
My friend was good.
There is a point besides sympathy in this piece and what I would like to reiterate to those who don't yet know, is that life is short. Life will indefinitely end and everyone will mourn the loss of someone who we thought we could never make it without. The ones that we lose are the ones who maintain a standard of living that we idolize.
Frequently the populous of our culture live life saving money and their cell phone minutes, waiting for an important splurge.
I say, follow the lead of those we must have learned something early on to be able to carry themselves so remarkably. Judge your bank accounts monthly, indulging in small and precious things to make you happy. Don't end the phone call of an old friend or your grandmother, just because you need to save the extra five dollars in extra minutes for a beer that night. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, otherwise it is a waste. I am glad that I could learn from the dead to know what truly living means and that is no regrets. There are those who figure it all out early, making it possible to spread the word of smiles and good spirits to all who know them.
I wish that we all could relish in the most pleasant moments that define us all as individuals. Find a niche that works and strive always for excellence. There is so much that we all have that we don't appreciate like a hot shower and a warm bed. It is very difficult to realize all of these incredible things until we lose someone who held life to a high standard - and won't be able to do those things again. I am going to wrap this up but the Indigo Girls say it best in their song
"Devotion," and it is one of her favorites.
"As one day moves into two, I'm losing, everything except for you. I would sing you a song of devotion. That's what I should do."
I guess that I am trying to spread her word and that is my song.
Life feels constantly incomplete in regard to all of the things we want and don't have and all of the feelings we have and don't want. Every moment is special. Whenever you stop in your tracks and think about all of the good things that you have, it will finally come out that life is wonderful - every moment. It can be fascinating and painful, but it is an overall miracle.

-Ashley Devick is the entertainment editor of The Daily Beacon. She can be contacted at adevick@utk.edu.