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To Tejal Reddy, RIP 1986-2008

I know this isn't an easy time for your family, and I haven't had a good night sleep for days thinking about what I could have done to stop you from taking your own life. In my mind, I wish that it didn't happen this way, but now the only thing I can do is write about everything going through my mind about you leading up to today.

I'm not just mad that I lost a friend... or that your family lost their oldest son, but I'm mad that everybody lost the chance to connect with someone that touched their lives dearly. In your life, you have taught me how to become a better person and to treat others as you would treat loved ones. In your death, you have taught me how to grieve for a loved one and realize the impact that a loss could have on so many people.

Your friendship and your influence had a very meaningful significance in my life, and it will never be taken for granted. I’m glad you were able to reach out to me for help at times when you needed it, as I have reached out to you for moral support and a helping hand. I remember when we were in high school, and I just thought that you were so carefree and quiet at the time. Throughout the years, I have watched you grow and mature into one of the brightest individuals I have ever met with the passion and drive to succeed. You were so talented in both computer science and biology that you could have been successful in any career path that you chose. What impressed me the most was the fact that you never let that talent go to waste by working hard every single day to achieve the results that would meet “Tejal” standards.

When I was going through the worst times of my college life, I remember that you were the person that taught me how to control my anger and release it in a positive manner. I’m glad you convinced me to do karate with you, because it definitely helped me build emotional character and discipline. To this day, I have become a much stronger person because of the life lessons that we have been through and the poundings that we had to endure together throughout that year.

It was after Christmas that I spoke to you online, and it seemed like everything was the same with you. I had no idea that you were suffering that much, otherwise I wouldn’t have hesitated to go to your place and help you. I was always in the Palos Verdes area, and I was always down to help you if you needed me. I will always regret letting you down when you needed it the most, and I feel incredibly guilty for letting this happen on my watch. I hope to help your family through this, because I just want to show them that my gratitude towards you extends to them as well.

You were always an inspiration in my eyes, and I knew you had all the potential to change the world. I know you will never realize this, but I do not think I would have made it past college without you. To my Karate partner, my Biology and Chemistry classmate, UCR colleague, and my old high school friend… I miss you, and you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

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