Friday, April 19, 2013

R.I.P. Samuel Levine: It's been a month, WHEN DOES IT STOP HURTING SO BADLY? ;"(

Hello, World!

It's NocturnELLE. It's also been quite a while since I've blogged. I've been meaning to, but I kept getting sidetracked and distracted. Unfortunately, I come to blog today with the intention of venting and remembering.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 10:45pm
While watching Chicago Fire, I saw a picture on the news of a young man. At first, he looked familiar. Then, I decided he looked like my friend, Sam. At that moment, I realized that IT WAS SAM, which lead to me seeing the byline on the bottom: "USC STUDENT KILLED". My heart went into a lurch and my mind stopped. THE WORLD STOPPED. For a split second of foolish denial, I thought this was some kind of elaborate prank, but I dismissed that silly thought when I told myself "No, you f**k*ng moron, HE'S DEAD!" I fell to the ground from the couch and started screaming and crying, immediately calling my mother. I could barely speak the words as I sat there, sobbing my eyes out. She thought I said it was my father and she called him (At this point, J., my father's wife, came downstairs attempting to find out what was wrong.). I called Mom back shortly after and was able spit it out "THAT WAS SAM LEVINE, SAM'S DEAD!" She said "Oh, my god! That was him?!?" and I could hear her voice cracking as she said the words. It's taken me so long to finish this post because every time I am close to it, my eyes begin to water as I type this out when I SHOULD be in bed or doing something else (depending on the time). I forgot to mention that I was at my father's house spending the night because I was accompanying him and his wife J. to a Tony Robbins retreat  THE NEXT DAY. I found this out at 10:45 and ended up crying from then until about 3:30 in the morning when I finally fell asleep. I was so hysterical I had to take half a Xanax just to go to sleep, only to be woken up 3 hours later by my dad blaring girl AND boy band hits from the '90's as part of his power workout.

Sam was on spring break with his USC frat brothers in Cabo San Lucas, where he was room hopping and ended up on a fiberglass air conditioning vent. The fiberglass couldn't hold his weight and he crashed through it, falling six stories to his death. Sam was one of my ONLY true friends in high school who was kind and looked out for me despite being friends with the popular crowd. We had a conversation almost a year after we graduated and he told me he knew I was going through a difficult time in high school. He admitted to me that he was upset with himself that he never took it upon himself to do something about the way I was treated, how the other boys and girls treated me differently than he did and that he hated it. We were very close, but we never hung out a lot due to schedules and social ridicule. I remember our Senior Year that Sam took out a whole page in my yearbook, something that NOBODY had EVER done in ANY of my yearbooks and something that I ALWAYS WANTED. He always wrote the most genuine things in my yearbooks that touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I wished I had them right now, for they are locked in storage. Our last conversation was on his birthday, two weeks before he died. I happened to glance at some previous conversations we had on Facebook, he told me he was proud of me with all the work I was doing towards my career and to never give up, no matter how small the acting part was. He really did believe in me, like a true friend. HE WAS A TRUE FRIEND TO ME.

I've posted some pictures I had of Sam over the years. I had to go through my high school photos to find these, which was difficult because it conjured up other painful memories. I also have a couple recent pictures of him from his memorial Facebook page, which was also very emotionally difficult to obtain. 

                                          Sam with Curry and Brandon 2006
                                                       Sam and Nicki 2007

My Sweet 16 02.24.2007
February Rally 02.08.2008
                                             Random House Party 03.13.2009

These are a couple of the last pictures that were taken of Sam. The final picture is one that a friend of our's from high school named Tiana Dafesh drew.  

  As much as it kills me to say this, I did not go to Sam's memorial service on Wednesday, March 27th. I am an incredibly strong person, and have the scars from the battles I've emerged from in my 22 years, but I could not bring myself to go. I went on a 3 mile walk that day, blasting my favorite songs from the Les Miserables motion picture soundtrack ("I Dreamed A Dream", "ABC Cafe/Red and Black", "On My Own", "One Day More", "Do You Hear The People Sing?", and "Epilogue", the latter REALLY making me cry.) which made me walk faster and faster, trying to outrun my thoughts. I honestly felt like a freaking zombie on The Walking Dead, waiting for Rick Grimes to do away with me, so much so that I almost got hit by a car walking past the cemetery by my house. How's that for irony?

I was told by a friend that Sam's basketball jersey was laid across his casket and that his parents were sobbing audibly throughout the whole service. When I read that, I ran in my room crying. I only met Sam's parents once, but I could vividly picture this scene as if it were happening right in front of me.      

While I was away at the Tony Robbins retreat, I found that Ellen Mahoney, a popular yard guard at our high school, passed away 4 days before Sam did. Ellen was another protector from the piranhas of the social scene, who greeted me every day with a smile and a hug. 

It didn't matter that Sam and I didn't hang out all the time or were members of different social groups, we had a special bond. A bond that was unscathed by opinions of our peers. I wrote the below message the next day on my Facebook and Instagram.

"I am completely and utterly devastated that my dear dear friend Samuel J. Levine suddenly passed away while on springbreak in Cabo

Sam, you were such an incredible human being and a true friend to me. We didn't hang out a lot, but you were always there when I needed you and you always cared. Wonderful, genuine, stand out, sweet, driven, intelligent, compassionate and pure of heart are some of the words to describe this young man who never looked down at anybody or based his perspective of a person on what those around him thought. He was a person people looked up to. A gifted athlete, a great student, a terrific son, and a honest friend. You really were one of my only genuine friends from high school and our friendship strengthened over the past 7 years. You believed in me and the fact that we'll never see each other or speak again is completely heartbreaking. I once told you that no matter where our paths traveled, you would always have a place in my heart and life. You were always an angel to me, now you're an angel in heaven, Sam R.I.P."

I remember our junior year, Sam and I made a pact that we were going to see Led Zepplin if they ever went back on tour again. When I was driving home the other day, their most famous song "Stairway to Heaven" came on the radio. I believe in signs and superstitions, so I considered this a sign.

                         Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
I finally went to visit Sam's grave today and say my good byes privately. It was a little exasperating because when I went to find his grave, the receptionist told me about how there was a big crowd for the burial (which I wasn't at, but how would that help me when it's been 3 weeks since the memorial?). She had to have two of the workers show me where he was (right in the front) and they were kind of lingering around, it was odd. It all hit home when I saw the temporary marker that stated Sam's full name and his dates, my heart sank. I brought him purple tulips with a white ribbon tied around them. In the language of flowers, purple tulips symbolize royalty, pride, dignity, sincerity, loyalty, and heartfelt sympathy. A white ribbon symbolizes innocence and peace. In all honesty, these were qualities that were possessed by both Sam and our friendship.  I sat there holding the bouquet and talked aloud for a while, ending with reciting the song I had written for my musical. I was just about to leave when the gardeners came out of nowhere and surrounded me. I was annoyed over that and they seemed a little aloof, I was worried they were going to run over the flowers! I was grieving, couldn't they have waited until I was finished?!? I kissed one of the flower bulbs and the ribbon before I set the bouquet down (I had to move them three times because of the gardeners.).

To whomever is reading this, please be sure to hug somebody. Parents, hug your children. Lovers, hug your mates. Whoever it may be, be sure to do it, because you'll never know if you'll have the chance to do it again. Hug them to show how much you love and care for them, their importance in your life. If you are grieving or sad, whatever the reason may be LET IT ALL OUT!!!! CRY, SCREAM, THROW SOMETHING, BLAST YOUR MUSIC TO THE HIGH HEAVENS! GET IT OUT, AS LONG AS IT TAKES!!!! DO NOT LET ANYBODY TELL YOU OTHERWISE!!!!  The pain subsides a little bit as each day passes, even though it may not seem like it. It was REALLY difficult not being with my mom when I first found this out. I felt so alone while I was away because everybody around me was very apathetic. 

                         Friday, April 19th, 2013
It has been a month to the date since Sam died. I'm very discombobulated and still heartbroken. I have my good days, but then it will hit me that he's gone and I start crying. It's this sharp shooting pain, like a lightning bolt has stabbed me in the heart and it sinks in. All I want is for it to be easier, to be able to smile and mean it, to believe and be hopeful. I still keep hoping that I'll wake up and it won't be true, that Sam will be only a phone call or text message away, but I know that it's unrealistic. Sam, you were and will always be one of my best friends, the world seems a little bit darker now that you're gone. I know that you're up in heaven, with your beautiful smile and handsome face, looking down and watching over myself and all of us whose lives you touched. My mother told me that maybe you were like my guardian angel while you were here, and now that you're gone, you're my guardian angel in Heaven. On my shoulder, in my heart, in my soul, never to be forgotten. I love you and I'll see you on the "Stairway to Heaven". Led Zepplin forever <3

I end this with two things. First, an article that The Daily Mail in London did about Sam's passing, which quoted me. 

I have closed my blogs with playlists before, but this one is for Sam, and filled with songs that I've been listening to since he passed or that reminded me of him, or my sad songs in general. 

"Tears in Heaven" Eric Clapton
"Slipped Away" Avril Lavigne
"Time Of Your Life" Green Day
"Stairway to Heaven" Led Zepplin
"Wish You Were Here" Pink Floyd
"Drive" Incubus
"Hallejuah" Jeff Buckley
"Summer Sunshine" The Corrs
"Friends" Elton John
"Paradise" Coldplay
"There You'll Be" Faith Hill
"You'll Be In My Heart" Phil Collins
"Somewhere Out There" (Both movie version and Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram version)
"The Sound of Silence" Simon and Garfunkel 
"The Times They Are A Changing" Bob Dylan
"Without You" sung by Mimi and then Roger in the musical RENT 
"Ho Hey" The Lumineers
"Heaven" Bryan Adams
"Yesterday" The Beatles
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" The Beatles
"Beautiful Boy" John Lennon

Goodnight, World. Until I blog again...

Elana Jade Rebel <3

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