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In Remembrance of Nick Penza

Feb 29, 2016 06:00AM ● Published by Pamela Johnson

Nicholas Daniel Penza June 19, 1997—February 5, 2016

in the words of  Lizzie Bernardini

I stood in a line out the door of the building where you were. I waited to see you for the last time. I saw friends and people I haven’t seen since last June when we all parted ways after graduation. This was not the circumstance in which we should have all been brought together again.

You left too soon and I still don’t think that many of us have processed it fully yet. You won’t be there for any reunions dancing around the room singing to whatever female you feel like singing to. You won’t be there for so many of us when we need a friend to turn to who was always so positive and a great listener.

Once I had made my way to the front of the line I was in disbelief still. There you laid looking so peaceful. It looked as if you were just taking another nap like you so often used to do in your classes. I kept waiting for you to jump up and say “got ya!” to everyone as you used to do.
I paid my respects to you then made my way to your family and a classmate of ours. Your parents hugged me and I don’t even know them. Every family member acknowledged me and I didn’t know who they were, just that they were your family and they were grieving too.
They thanked me for coming and showing my respect and I couldn’t think of anything to say other than “you’re welcome.” What can you really say to them that they haven’t heard hundreds of times already? One thing that I know for sure is how happy they were to know that so many people from the community cared for you and paid their respects.

We said goodbye to a beloved member of the community and the class clown for the Bellingham High School class of 2015. You were always a guy to lighten the mood and cheer a bunch of people up, but that wasn’t the case this time.

I moved on to watch the slideshow that was made with pictures of you and all of your friends and family growing up. I cried after watching it for a few seconds, but they were not just tears of sorrow and sadness, but tears of joy too. Yes, tears of joy must be weird at a time like this, but they were joyful because we all got to see the life you lived and it was a positive one with lots of friends and memories.

You’re gone and now that you’re gone you’ve taken a part of us with you. We will all remember you and carry the memories we have of you in our hearts forever. You cannot be replaced nor will you ever be replaced. Fly high friend, you will forever be in our minds and hearts and we will be at peace as much as you knowing that your life was full with “good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.”

Rest in the sweetest peace our friend and we will see you again.


In Print, Today, Community, Schools Nick Penza Lizzie Bernardini

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