It's 2 A.M and I am laying in bed, wrapped from head to toe in my blanket, preparing for my nightly routine of scrolling through social media until I fall asleep.
I kick-off the routine by checking the trending list on Twitter. Oh, Cameron Boyce is trending. Could this be something Descendants 3 related? My eye catches the smaller font, 'Trending with: RIP'. There is a brief moment of panic and I tap the screen with a sudden sense of urgency.
I would go on to spend the next two hours awake, not moving from the same spot. Refreshing the app every five minutes, going between Google and Twitter and Twitter and Instagram. Trying to find evidence that this was all a hoax. Then, the director of Descendants would post his condolences, finally confirming my fears.
To any adult the reaction may seem melodramatic, unnecessary even. After all, celebrities die all the time. But for those of us who are young enough to have grown up with him on our televisions; tuning in to new episodes of Jessie every week and trying not to miss a rerun. He seemed to be a part of our childhood. Someone with whom we shared our years of growing up. Someone who felt like a close friend, albeit an imaginary friend.
Ultimately, Cameron Boyce was someone we never thought we'd saying “Rest In Peace” to this soon into our lives.
Cameron will forever be remembered as a talented actor and philanthropist; someone who brought us years of joy and entertainment, though we may have never interacted with him personally.
His untimely death will also serve as a devastating reminder that any of us, our friends or parents could pass away too suddenly to blink.
A wake-up call to say that the time we have here is severely limited, and so we must cherish every moment we have and the people we share them with. That we should show our appreciation for the people we care about and the ones who care about us, because we never know when it will be one second too late.
Loss and grief are necessary components of human life; an inevitable experience that will be difficult to maneuver. Still, grief does not have to be accompanied by regret.
Although a sorrowful thought, it would do us some good to remember that Cameron went to sleep just like he would on any night before this, expecting to wake up in the morning. Unfortunately, loss cannot be anticipated and the people we grew up with and the ones we know like the back of our hands can be taken from us in the time it takes to blink an eye.
It is therefore of great importance that we make good use of the time we have with them now, to show them how much we love them. To commemorate them for the role they have played in our lives, before it is too late to do so.
To Luke, to Carlos, to Jake— to Cameron, and all the young souls and close friends we have lost thus far— rest in peace.