I don’t think it’s an exaggeration when I say that my class has gone through a lot.

I never thought this would be something I’d experience. When I think about it now, I never thought I’d experience it this much.

From the moment I’ve started high school, my class has experienced the loss of a classmate at least once every year.

It’s a strange day when it happens. I remember the feeling each time right before we were told. Usually, we see some important staff member walk in with a single piece of paper. Now, my class has grown to despise this piece of paper because it’s the same thing each year now. Anytime we see one of the staff members walk in with that familiar demeanor, we already know what is about to happen. We are told that this isn’t normal. The saddest part about that is that it’s become our new normal; we now expect it to happen each year.

Parents of students who have been going through this may have a hard time understanding it. They may not know what is going through their child’s mind. Don’t worry, because we don’t know either. I can barely find the words to write about it. The kind of effect this has had on us is weird. There are some days when we think we see someone around school, but then we remember that they passed earlier that year or even longer ago. We also think about the last time we saw one of our classmates, and how not long after that they were gone.

Some of us live with regret. That goes hand in hand with replaying all the times we’ve seen the ones we’ve lost. We wish we could have said something, or that we may have treated them better. We wish we reached out more. It’s all we think about. And eventually, the ones we lost find their way into our dreams. Then we find ourselves waking up the next morning with a jolt, not being able to think clearly the rest of the day.

My class graduates next year. I think about this part a lot because I know that this would be something that is bound to come up.

When we’re up there thinking about how we made it, we’ll also be thinking about the ones who didn’t.

We will carry our memory of them with us for a long time.

Karyssa Fisher is a junior at Hermiston High School.

Breaking the Silence

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