Eckl: Losing friends sucks |

Eckl: Losing friends sucks

By Carter Eckl
Nevada Appeal sports director Carter Eckl and a group of his friends gather at Declaration Brewing Company in Denver last year to honor the life of their friend Matt, who passed away unexpectedly in July 2019.
Carter Eckl

There’s never a good time to hear one of your friends has passed away.

If not for COVID-19, a group of my high schools friends and I would have spent this past weekend celebrating the life of our buddy, Matt, who passed away July 17, 2019.

Instead, we woke up Sunday morning to the news that we would be grieving the loss of another on the same weekend, just a year later.

Our friend Ryan, 26, had passed away in his sleep.

You never know

For the sake of family privacy and this reporter not having much in the way of details, I’m just going to refer to Matt and Ryan on a first name basis.

Ryan and I were never close friends, but within our group of friends we were frequently around each other growing up.

From all accounts, Ryan was the kind of guy you could go to about anything.

He was smart, funny and likely in the best physical shape out of any of us in the group.

Yet, life doesn’t always have a way of being fair.

Death, especially unforeseen death, makes even the most sane of us question reality.

I hate that Ryan’s family has to go through this. I hate that my friends are once again stuck grasping for answers with little insight.

I hate that on the weekend Matt’s family was celebrating the anniversary of his passing, we had to reach out to ask for photos as yet another one of us was gone.

And I hate that our first instinct is to yet again get the band back together to mourn, and we can’t.

Unfortunately, I know this community has had to come to grips with these same feelings all too well.

I know that I’m not alone and even under the most normal of worldly circumstances this pain is unavoidable to someone.

I’m not looking for sympathy or prayers in writing this column; I’m just trying to release thoughts in the best way I know how in hopes it’ll help start the healing process.

Just 367 days after we had to come together to honor Matt, we’re left trying to figure out plans on how to do it again.

Exchanging text messages and phone calls instead of hugs just doesn’t feel right.

Ultimately, I hope Ryan’s family can find peace.

We, as a group, will get through this, but unfortunately we still have to deal with losing another friend too early and with little explanation.

That, quite honestly, just really sucks. 

Carter Eckl can be reached at