A Loved One Says Goodbye to Jonah


Dezarei Dandridge, Contributor

Jonah how can I begin to explain how thankful I am that you were brought into my life. It’s crazy how social media brought us together, along with your jokes, humor and personality. I believe initially I gave you a hard time to become your girlfriend; however, within the month of your persistence and being able to learn the type of person you were, you became irresistible.

One  afternoon we finally got the courage to meet each other in person after long phone calls and text messages. You  finally asked me to be your girlfriend on May 29, 2016. Those memories will never go away – that day we met at the cafeteria, it was  like I was looking in a freakish mirror (my twin).

Jonah, the first moment we allowed our parents to meet each other was one of the most nerve-racking experiences ever. I thank both of our families for accepting our love for each other. Family functions and dinners will probably never be the same without you. However, your jokes and memories will last forever. I thank you for giving me those moments in my life, especially in high school to overcome so many obstacles.

Jonah, I love how we fought hard for our relationship. We both matured and realized that education was very important to one another. I love how you constantly pushed me in school to do better, and to become the best version of myself that I could be. You always told me that you were so proud of me and that I was going to make something out of myself. You constantly uttered how much of a genius I was. I will forever cherish the memories of going over to your house and working on our homework and projects together.

I especially remember fondly the dinners your mom would cook for us and once a month when your grandma would send me over some Spanish food. I never thought the day would come when I would open my eyes not be able to feel anything inside, or that I’d  be stuck crying thinking about how my first love had just taken his own life. I remember that day like it was yesterday; nothing felt the same: I had just lost the realist person on my team.

I still can’t seem to understand that out of the 7 billion people breathing on this Earth, why God needed to take you – the main person who was always there for me. I love you. I miss you more than anything in the world. I still can’t picture this. I’m so devastated. You were so young and filled with life. You were only 17 years old; your life was just beginning. Man!

Everyone says that kids aren’t supposed to die young and they are supposed to live their lives to the fullest. But God had other plans for you.

I know crying isn’t going to bring you back, but I’m so hurt that it’s the only thing I can really do. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The last thing you said to me was, “I love you, Arleen (my middle name), and no one will ever take your place.” You gave me a big hug and pushed my head against your chest. I would do absolutely anything to go back and time and prevent all this from happening.

If it was possible, I wish I was given one moment – just one single piece of my past – so I could hold it close to my heart forever, and that moment would always last. I’d choose a time of laughter, a time of happiness and fun, which was every single moment we were together. I sat and thought about what moment always made me feel content and it was just being in your presence because your amazing smile and your faith in me always made me go the extra mile.

There are also particular moments I can think of that would lift my spirits. For instance, any time I got sick or wasn’t feeling well, you would come over to take care of me. Or when we’d have our singing competitions, and we had my mom be the judge – even though she always picked you as the winner.

I would do absolutely anything to hear your voice, feel your touch, or even smell your cologne again.

I miss you, baby. I still think if I call your phone, you will pick up. It hurts, man. Finding out you were gone absolutely broke me in so many ways. We wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, raise a family together and build a future. I still don’t understand why you had to take matters into your own hands, but I’m trying not to think about the “buts” and “what ifs” because I know you’re at peace now, and we’ll see each other again soon. However, until that time comes, I know I’ll always have a Guardian angel watching over me. Everything I do in my life with be dedicated toward you. I’m going to  achieve both of our goals, I promise.

I hope that by writing this it gives people an insight into how much of an amazing person Jonah was and how much of an impact he had on my life. And I hope it makes people realize that if they are going through depression, they are not alone and there are people who love and care about you. For those feeling lost, any time – day or night – you can always call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255.