Chelsea Madden

Chelsea Madden and her husband enjoy living in little Forsyth.

Losing a loved one is never easy. We all know that gut-wrenching feeling - and we all know that saying goodbye is something we never expect and don’t want to do. The pain of waking up and going about a normal routine seems impossible and the holidays just aren’t the same. The idea of going to work is painful and even the simplest tasks are a thousand times harder to complete. 

In my own experience, when I lost my dear friend, Macy Morgan, all of the above was true. I felt helpless, hopeless, and lost. I hadn’t felt that kind of sadness before, so I was unsure how to handle it. To tell the truth, I didn’t handle it for the longest time – but I suppose denial is a part of the grieving process. 

After some time went by, I realized that my happiest memories with Macy were right here in Forsyth – singing in the choir together at First Baptist, playing hide-and-seek at Walmart, or enjoying our favorite weekend tradition of a girls’ night with our other best friends. These memories were especially daunting and difficult to deal with; each memory was so close to home, literally. Losing someone in a small town didn’t sit well with me, especially in a town as small as Forsyth. In Forsyth, everyone knows everyone and when something happens, it is out there for all to see. There were so many times I wished that no one knew about what happened just so I didn’t have to run into someone around town and fake being okay. Small town living had it perks, but during this time, I wanted to be as far away from this town as I could get. I wanted to be in a big city, where no one knew Macy or me, or anything about us because each and every time I would look back on our friendship, I saw Forsyth. I saw lost time. I saw sorrow. 

But then one day, I saw hope. 

What Macy gave me were some of the greatest memories I could ever ask for, in a town that has the best people and some of the most comforting places. I met Macy in this town, and I’ll cherish that fact forever. 

I didn’t always like being asked how I was doing, but where else would I get that kind of sincerity? These people cared about Macy and they cared about me. Even if they didn’t know me personally, they still offered a warm hug and a sweet smile. You see, when tragedy strikes, Forsythians always come together to show support, spread love, and pray for one another. 

Now when I look around Forsyth, I still see Macy – but this time it is different. I don’t see the what ifs or the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. I see a part of her in every Forsythian. I see kindness. I see friendship. I see hope.

Chelsea Madden of Forsyth is a graduate student seeking her Masters of Fine Arts in writing with the Savannah College of Art and Design. She is an administrative assistant at the engineering firm Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble in Macon.