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What A Difference a Year Makes

Posted Feb 06 2013 11:43pm

A year ago today, my life changed in one flashing instant. A brief phone call and my life would never be the same. My brother was dead. I remember everything about that moment. That day. What I was wearing. What I was doing when my mom called. The near miracle it was that Zack actually had reception on campus for once. The exact amount of time it took for my dad to drive from Virginia to pick us up (3 hours 56 minutes)

I can relive the details as if it was just yesterday.

I have come so far in the last year. I let losing him swallow my life and quite frankly, quit caring about things that were important in my life. My work. My relationship. My Self Esteem (mostly thanks to the first two) It took me half a year to get my shit together and start crawling out of the hole I dug.

But here I am one year later. Happy, strong, independent, hopeful.

I felt guilty earlier this week. It’s the week of the anniversary of his death, and here I am being happy and laughing all the time. Enjoying my job, and how natural/easy life feels down here. I should be in pain, I should want to just cry all week long and long for him.

My natural instinct was to crawl into bed Wednesday night and not get out until Friday… But, that’s just not me, and it’s certainly not Matthew. He would be pissed to know that instead of celebrating life I was mourning his.

Matthew was the life of any crowd. His smile could light up a room and that energy drew everyone in.


So instead I celebrate Matthew today, and hopefully every day. I am going to live loudly and tackle the day. I am going to surround myself with positive people, laugh and smile as much as I can and try to brighten the rooms I enter. That’s the kind of person worth remembering, and boy was Matthew exactly that.

PicMonkey Collage

Matthew Howard Neitzel
03/07/1984 – 02/07/2012

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