Three years later, we remember the legacy of Lucas Van Sprange


I can still tell you almost every detail about this day three years ago. I can tell you who I talked to, what we talked about, what route I took on my way to class and even the outfits of people around me. It’s funny how the brain works and what your subconscious can remember even if you thought it was going to be a normal day. Of course, it was not a normal day, and I know that now.

Easily, Jan. 16th, 2015 was one of the most painful, longest, and hardest days of my life.

January 16th, the world suffered an incredible loss when Lucas Van Sprange passed away. He was my friend throughout elementary school, and almost every time I saw him in the hallway freshman year, we would quickly say hi then scurry off to class. He was one of the kindest, friendliest people I’ve ever met, and I still sometimes am unable to come to terms with what happened. Sometimes, it still doesn’t feel real. I remember exactly where I was when the announcement went out. I remember hearing the words “we regret to inform you” then seeing all the people around me cry and some even falling over.

I remember the most bone-chilling silence I’ve ever heard, and I remember the walk that seemed to take forever going to the lecture hall.

I remember then heading into the library and then being placed in a circle to talk. There were some upperclassmen there to support us, and I still remember exactly how the strangers looked that held my hand and comforted me.

And now I sit here, three years later, in the same room where I heard the news. It feels like so many years ago, but to another extent, it feels like just yesterday,

It’s strange how life works, and it almost feels like things have come full circle. More recently, FHC also suffered another loss of another freshman, Max Prominski, and the loss heavily impacted everyone at FHC. My heart hurts for all the freshmen who had the gift of knowing and befriending Max; he seemed like a truly incredibly kid. I try every day to think about all the freshmen and the family of Max who is getting through possibly one of the most challenging and trying times of their life. I know because so many of us had to get through a similar situation as well. It’s so important to not forget and always remember.

I’m now a senior. I’ve learned to help other people through what I had to go through all these years ago. I was able to support and love the people around me who needed it most, just like I needed it my freshman year.

To Lucas’s family, I’m here to tell you that we all still remember. We still remember the bright-eyed, blonde, smiling boy whose life touched everyone around him. We are so lucky to have known him, and we are so lucky that you all blessed us with the gift of knowing such an incredible young man. He went through so much and was still able to give back; that in and of itself says so much about the type of person he was.

And to Lucas, I’m so grateful for everything you’ve given me. You taught me so much about love, life, and giving back. I still don’t go a day without wearing your bracelet with the reminder that there’s always something bigger than me. It gives me peace that, now, so many of us are able to look back on your life and your memory with a smile.

We still remember you, and we will never ever forget. I hope every single day that your legacy of kindness outlives us all.