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Yale Graduate Who Died In A Car Crash Lives On Through Heartbreaking Inspirational Essay

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May 30 2012, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

A 22-year-old Yale student had no idea that she was saying her final goodbye not only to her graduating classmates but also to all her loved ones when she wrote an ode to life at the Ivy League university.

Just days after graduation, Marina Keegan was killed in a horrific car crash on May 26 when her boyfriend, Michael Gocksch lost control of his car while driving on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, reported Gocksch was taken to the hospital and later released, but sadly Keegan was declared dead at the scene.

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The promising young writer and former president of the Yale Young Democrats had already written articles for NPR, the New York Times and blogged for the New Yorker, but her lasting legacy will be the inspiring essay she penned for her fellow students and published in a special edition of the Yale Daily News that was distributed at the college’s commencement ceremony.

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place,” Marina wrote.

“It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt.

“But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us,” she went on to say. “I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd ‘should haves... ‘if I’d...’ ‘wish I’d...’”

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In her expression about the importance of living life to the fullest, Marina reminds her classmates, “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time.”


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