February 28, 2020

My name isCourtney and my story is a little bit different than what we normally see here on Rightly Royce. I grew up playing soccer and basically living on the field with my team who turned into some of my closest friends. Four of us became our own little team/family/best friend group and spent as much time together as possible. One of these girls was my dear friend, Brittany. Brittany was the one of the most down to Earth, kind, selfless individuals you'd ever meet in this life. After many years of friendship and growing up together, we each moved on to different things. I was serving a mission for my church and she was playing college soccer in Nebraska. While at school, Brittany felt like she needed to serve a mission and put in her paperwork. I remember the day she emailed me and told me she would be serving the people of Resistencia, Argentina and how excited she was! I came home from my mission in July and Brittany left in August. That month that we had together will always be one of the biggest tender mercies in my life. 

Around the second week of March 2015, we heard that Brittany was sick in Argentina. From what we understood, she had gotten food poisoning which turned into e. Coli. I remember spending those first few days rereading our emails back and forth to see if she had mentioned anything about being sick. Nothing. On March 11th, I was sitting in my room at the home of a family I was nannying, an hour away from any friends or family, when I got a GoFundMe notification that Brittany had passed away in Argentina. They had transported her to Buenos Aires where she went into cardiac arrest and didn't come back. 
I remember dropping to the ground, crying and not knowing what to do. I had family come and get me and spent the next week with friends, family, and Brittany's family. The next two weeks included flying her body home to Utah, her birthday, and her funeral. 
What has helped me most through this time is sharing stories about Brittany and being able to help others who lose a loved one. You are never prepared for all of the emotions that you will go through, but having someone hold your hand through it makes a world of difference.

My advice to someone who has lost a friend or loved one in an unexpected way is that it's okay to feel sad. It's okay to hurt and to miss them. Just make sure you communicate

our feelings and get help if you need it. I went to therapy after Brittany had passed and I know that it helped me to come back to reality and take my next step forward. Remember that every day with those we love is a blessing. Make sure they are aware of your love for them and that you are grateful for their presence in your life.


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