Eric passed away in a car accident on May 12, 2017. This letter encapsulates what an amazing human he was, and I share it in his honor. From a light in my life to a light in the sky – shine on, Eric.

Dear Eric,                                                               May 23, 2015.

I figure you are due for another letter considering this is my last Chapman visit for the indefinite future. Plus you have been on my mind a lot this weekend. As well as we articulated our feelings post-undie run (lol), I want to coherently and soberly tell you a few things:

Interterm 2013 – my last month at Chapman and I spent nearly every day with you. You were my favorite hello and hardest goodbye.

I adore you.

Ever since we had that god awful group project together sophomore year, you truly have been a light in my life. From your quirky mannerisms to your rad taste in music, I find everything about you way too charming. You also came into my life when I was at a personal low and anyone who stood by me through that will always have a place in my heart, but you especially. You had every reason to not be with me but you were always there for me anyways. I cannot thank you enough for being my friend. You get me in a way that very few people do, and I love how candid we can be with each other. I will always cherish the brief but impactful time we spent together, and you have set the bar pretty high for other guys to live up to.

I miss you.

A lot and frequently. I honestly have never met anyone like you. It’s going on 3 years that I’ve known you and there has always been something about you that I just can’t let go. Your smile, your scent, your laugh, I just miss having you around. I didn’t realize how important you were to me until I was gone. I wish we had more time together, but I am so glad we have kept in touch. I usually don’t keep in touch with anyone I’ve dated, but you’re the exception. You’re the exception to many aspects of my life actually. You’re also the only guy that is always in the back of my mind. When I meet someone new, my thought process is “Close but not Eric”.

Chapman Graduation 2015 – I visited twice senior year, and made some of my fondest memories with you. I remember during the the first visit, you drove out to Newport to spend time on the beach with me and before we knew it, it was 4 am.  I never got sick of you.

I wish you all the best.

It makes me sad that I don’t know when I will see you again, but I have no doubt that I will. I know you have so much good coming your way and your impact on the world will be endearing and positive. I have so much respect for you and the person that you are. You have grown up a lot since sophomore year and in a totally non-maternal way, I’m really proud of the character you’ve built and values you’ve maintained. I have no doubt that you have an amazing life ahead of you.

Not to be totally cliché and corny, but I can wholeheartedly say this is not goodbye, it’s see you later. And for what it’s worth, I really hope we find our ways back to each other at some point in life. I’ve always thought that we deserved an honest chance that we just haven’t had yet.

Love, Tara

July 2016 – The last time I was in LA and the last time I saw you. We got brunch and caught up on our first year of adulting. I teased you for your shameless self-advertising, and you told me you were in love. I was so happy for you, and could tell you loved her just by the way you talked about her.