Riley Knouse: Remembering Nick Haverland

Riley Knouse

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Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of Foothill alumnus Nick Haverland.

Nick graduated from Foothill in 2009 with my older sister, and the place I saw him the most was in my kitchen, usually making curry. He was, as anyone who knew him would tell you, a lover of nature, and a genuinely great person. 

Nick Haverland's senior yearbook photo. Credit: Foothill Technology High School

Nick Haverland’s senior yearbook photo. Credit: Foothill Technology High School

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of Foothill alumnus Nick Haverland. He died in a hit and run by a drunk driver.

Nick graduated from Foothill in 2009 with my older sister, and the place I saw him the most was in my kitchen, usually making curry.

He was, as anyone who knew him would tell you, a lover of nature and a genuinely great person. I don’t mean “great,” like you only realize it after the person is gone. While Nick was alive, his friends and family knew how great of a person he was.

When Nick was killed, he was only 20 years old, so of course his death was unexpected. No one was able to remind him of how kind he was, how much they loved him, or say goodbye.

He was robbed of a long life undoubtedly filled with opportunities to brighten the lives of many.

When I think of Nick, I think of the boy who burnt rice the first time he came to our house. I think of the smile that could brighten any room, and the friend of my sister’s who I decided to call my friend, too.

Whenever I think about Nick, I think about how incredibly unfair it is that he isn’t here anymore.

I also think about the Haverlands, who though I’ve never met them I know that they were some of the kindest, strongest human beings. I continue to give my utmost condolences to you and the the people who were close friends of Nick.

If I could go back and do things differently, I would. I would make sure that he knew that the simple act of letting his friend’s little sister tag along to the farmers market and be assistant sous chef made me feel incredibly happy, and I’d let him know how much I looked up to him.

Please, let your friends and family know how much you cherish them. Life is painfully fragile, so much so that it shouldn’t be wasted with the word ‘later,’ because later could end up being too late.

Live your life as well as possible, with as few regrets as you can manage. Try to fill your life with happiness while bringing joy to others.

Sometimes the moments you remember the most are the ones that seem the least important.

 

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