I met Unique Barnes when I was a little sixth grader at Haskell Middle School. She was in the band and I was in choir so I didn’t personally know her that well. That changed in seventh grade when she joined the choir. I instantly knew that this girl was different.
She was the type of person that literally everyone was friends with. She was so friendly and something about her was just so inviting. Unique didn’t care if you were popular, white, black, nerdy, shy, outgoing, or whatever else you were she would talk to you.
I instantly felt so close to her and we became great friends. I loved being around her because her joyful presence could change the darkest mood. Her love of Christ shined through her, and it was always so inspiring to me. I wanted to be just like her.
I can vividly remember January 27th, 2014.
It was my junior year of high school. Unique had been sick and in the hospital for awhile. I would go and visit her and you couldn’t even tell she was sick.Her spirits were high and she only wanted to focus on the positives. We would laugh and catch up on all the latest gossip. I was positive that she would have a quick recovery.
Then things took a turn for the worse. I went to visit her in the hospital and I didn’t even recognize her. I couldn’t even stay in the room for very long because I didn’t want her to see me upset even though she wasn’t talking anymore. I didn’t realize that in that moment I had said my last words to her.
Then the day that I will never forget.
I couldn’t go to the hospital to visit Unique that night because I had show choir practice till nine. Two of my darling friends were with her and they did their best to keep me up to date. During one of the water breaks I felt a small sense of hope. My friend that was at the hospital with Unique texted me and said that while she was talking to Unique she told her “Sierra loves you and she wishes she was here,” and my friend said that Unique smiled after she mentioned my name. That put the biggest smile on my face and I went back to practice thinking that everything would be okay. Little did I know that my world was about to change.
An hour later and practice was over. Right at nine my teacher got a call and he looked grim. My heart dropped. I rushed to my phone and saw the text that I was dreading. Unique had passed away.
There is no pain like losing someone you love. I fell apart at that moment. A whirl of emotions swept through me. I just didn’t know what to do. I was angry. I was sad. I wanted to just curl up in a ball and be away from everyone.
I’m not going to lie, at the time I was a little angry at God. I didn’t understand why this had to happen. I was confused and hurt, but after some time I realized that Unique wouldn’t want me to be mad at God.
During this time of pain I turned to the only thing that could give me comfort, God. I opened up my bible and I saw a verse that really stuck out to me.
“Oh death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT
This verse made me realize that yes it is okay for me to mourn the death of my sweet friend, but I don’t have to lose hope because Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with God. When you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are promised eternal life in heaven. I know for a fact that Unique had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and I have as well. So when my time comes, I will get to join Unique up in heaven. I can’t wait for that day to come.
Today marks two years since Unique became an angel. This is a wound that time can’t heal. I still miss her dearly and would do anything to give her a big hug again right now. I know she is looking down on me from heaven and I just hope that I am making her proud here on Earth. She is and will always be my biggest inspiration. I want to be like Unique. If I could be half of the woman she was, I would be set. I am so thankful that I had the honor of knowing and being friends with Unique. Rest in peace angel.
I love you Unique.