With a year since Trey’s accident, I thought it would be good to actually write out some of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. 

Beginning life without Trey in it has been the hardest experience of my life. At the start of this change, I couldn’t feel. I had no grasp on how I would be able to find any type of happiness again. I didn’t have faith in myself to get out of bed. Darkness was my best friend now and any type of enjoyment was out of reach. My expectations for my family and friends were high to help me carry this weight of grief, but knowing what I know now is that no one will be able to handle anyone’s grief in a way we think we need. I have been failed many times that have caused more pain, questions, and confusion. I had to learn to forgive the people in my life for handling things “wrong” and not let my broken heart cut them. I am beyond grateful for the support that I do have and I will never take that for granted. 

Each day throughout this year brought a new memory I had the privilege to make with Trey, but my mind couldn’t fall away from “I was with him this day last year. Just one year ago.” After Trey passed in November I repressed most of my days and don’t have any reconciliation for a full a month. I thought I was doing this all wrong. How could I possibly not remember a full month? I kept going. 

After the acceptance set in then, I began to wake up and the fear arrived. I was afraid I could never experience love or let myself love. I was afraid that the darkness would swallow me even on my good days. I never thought I could fall for another man or be so comfortable with a guy not only as a boyfriend but my best friend. I didn’t know how to let myself relax without anxiety attacking my thoughts of 

How am I going to do this- what am I going to do this day- how will I date people? 

Weeks went on and I began to find things to hold onto. Starting a new job as a wedding photographer, traveling, meeting a new guy, meditating, beginning my yoga practice. With all of these blessings entering my life all I could think of and sometimes actually try to do is to call Trey and tell him how awesome things are. He was always my #1 supporter. 

That’s where the darkness came creeping back. I was aware of it now which made it easier to hide. One regret that I hope you never have is hiding your sadness from the people who love you most. Saying the “I’m doing good!” “I’m fine” knowing deep down everything still hurts. I pushed through with offering myself grace and patience to become full again. Some days felt so good like nothing ever happened, but it never left the back of my mind. 

In honor of Trey and his beautiful voice, I got a tattoo of a soundwave with a voicemail he left me once stating –

“Anyways babe, I miss you. Get up and get going haha. I love you” 

I specifically chose this one because of the get-up and get going part. His voice was and is music to my ears and to hear him tell me each day to get up and get going helps me strive to be a better me. I learned so much from that man from his encouraging texts, phone calls, to his actions. Waking up before the sun and going on a 5-mile run every morning to reading the word each day and leaving a voicemail about his day so far before my alarm even went off. He is my inspiration. 

Tragedies happen. Life can completely change in a blink of an eye and you can either let it bring you down or focus on the good and how to provide to others. 

Almost two months ago one of my other best friends left his body on this earth. 20 years old just like Trey. His name is Alex Boodt. Just 10 months apart from Trey all of my wounds opened back up that I didn’t think were still there. I was lost and confused and anxious as to why something so life-altering was happening again. So soon. 

I had the opportunity to say goodbye to both of them in the hospital and give them one last “I love you”. Life has not been easy, but with the passing of Trey and then Alex I have learned how to be there for my friends more. I have learned to talk about my feelings and not be afraid to ask for help. I have to remember sometimes people don’t help as you expect, but you just gotta keep going.

A year changes a lot. It can bend and twist us, but I will not let it break me. I am striving every day to improve myself and to help those around me. Everyone feels differently and that needs to be recognized when a group of friends begins to grieve. 

My heart is full of love remembering Trey and Alex as the two most genuine souls I ever had the privilege of knowing. The memories made with them will be cherished in my heart forever. 

It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

 I love you t. I love you boodt. 

I pray that my story can speak to you and help you with your journey through life. 

I love you all. 

Get up and get going.