Her Legacy Lives On

To commemorate Jordan's life 5 years after her death, we have been posting a series of blogs every day for the past few days. This 6th piece was written by Krista, Jordan's friend. 

It’s been 5 years, and I am still at a loss for words. I still don’t know how to talk about what happened 5 years ago and what it’s been like (and is like) to have her missing from my life.  It’s still hard for me to talk about her and what the world lost that day. What I can say is that Jordan taught me so much while she was here (and since she’s been gone) and that I miss her each and every day. She taught me to be creative, to love life and everyone in it, to never apologize for being ambitious, to see the best in people and to make sure I left room in my life for the little things. Jordan and I went to high school together. We were in all the same classes, played basketball together, joined the track team together and were on the same spirit squad that forced us to wear ridiculous red jumpsuits that we couldn’t get enough of because we thought we were just that cool. We grew up together in those 4 years, and I know, without a doubt, she is a huge influence on who I am today.  When I’m having a particularly dark day missing her, it brings me comfort to remember all the sleepovers, pool parties, basketball tournaments and all of the ridiculous, silly memories we had together.

Unfortunately, I can't help but feel that I took our 7 years of friendship for granted, and it’s one of my biggest regrets.  I want nothing more than just a little more time with her. I had planned on having her in my life forever. I never doubted that we’d travel the world together, be in each other's weddings and make 100,000 more memories together.  After high school, we talked less as we both went off to college. We’d still get together on college breaks without missing a beat, but we lost touch with each other’s day-to-day lives.  Today, it's painful to think about all the things that I missed and all the times I should have been there to laugh, cry, and celebrate with her. She came to visit me in college, but she passed before I had the chance to visit her at Michigan. However, I did get the chance to visit after the funeral and had the opportunity to meet her amazing family of friends at school. They welcomed me, a complete stranger, with nothing but unconditional love. I left Michigan incredibly sad, but overwhelmingly inspired.  Jordan was still connecting and bringing people together in ways I couldn’t imagine. Her love and spirit had spread like wildfire amongst her friends, and I knew she’d been living with and been cared for by the best people imaginable. But I still regret not being there sooner and getting a little more time to live in her new world.  While our time with her was cut short, she left a legacy that none of us will forget. She loved harder than anyone I’ve ever known. Everyone who had the privilege of meeting Jordan knows what a force she was. Her legacy lives in all of us. She taught all of us how to love a little harder and laugh a little more. To bear witness to the incredible person she was, all you need to do is meet her family, friends and all of the people in her life.  She left her mark on each us, each one unique, vivid and bright.

While I don’t always know what to say about Jordan’s departure, I know I’ll always feel her love (which I’ll cling to forever). And I’m blessed to witness it in each of these posts and in her family and friends. Even as Jordan was suffering with depression she was focused on spreading love and helping others. So I’ll end by sharing something she wrote shortly before she passed. I read it everyday for months after she passed because it reminded me so much of who she was (smart, inspiring, goofy, selfless) and how much love she had to spread.

I want to write a children’s book about depression. There will be brain-sweeping elves involved. There will be golden rings of light. There will be mind horses, little ones, and there will be black gook. It is a sticky, stagnant gook. A gook that is not easily de-gooked. But thanks to Persistence, Perseverance, Positivity, People who love us it will be peeled away to reveal the pure plenty of love and light which exists in life. (Gook will always be gook, but it will not always be grande).

Quote by Jordan Harris

Post by Krista Whitaker

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Posted on March 31, 2017 .