Who is Niall?
I moved to New York City ten years ago this month. As most of you have read in my bio it was a struggle for sure and that struggle made me into the person I am today. I had the hustle in me and knew I was going to make it. I believe our journey is given to us at birth and we can’t change any of it, we just have to acknowledge all the wonderful things that are given to us during our journey. This blog is a bit off of my path of my usual writing, but I felt the need to write about this.
It was my first day at the pub in New York City, I started as a waitress. I didn’t know anyone and I was so nervous. I met the bartender, his name was Niall. He was very nice and very helpful to show me around. I got the hang of everything pretty quick and was really enjoying it. Niall and I worked every evening shift together; at that point he was the only person I felt that was my friend. As the time went on working together we became each other’s life line. We worked together; we hung out on our days off with his friends that shortly became my friends. The brunches we had and the events we did all together were something I will never forget. We were thick as thieves. The friendship that Niall and I had was just something I never had before (no offense to any of my dear friends). I felt like he was all I had. His energy was just always so uplifting, he had the biggest heart out of anyone I knew and just wanted to make his friends and loved ones happy. That energy and vibe is how I am as a person so that is why were always so close. He was my family in NYC. As the years went on, we got so much closer. Our families and friends would visit and we would make sure they had the best time always. His dad and I would go for drinks while Niall was at work and really live it up in the city. His sister and I surprised all of them one year and the feeling of all that was just so touching. The closeness I have with them all was really something I haven’t experienced with a friend or their family. I always felt protected, I always felt safe, and loved by him and I made sure he felt the same. For us to have this friendship in a city of millions was an absolute blessing. At that point in my life, my brother had passed so Niall was my brother. The light that was in Niall was truly something extraordinary. The energy that he brought every single day was euphoric; he always knew how to make your day a little bit better even if he was having a shit day. He put everyone he loved in front of himself.
As you can probably tell from reading this so far, Niall passed away. My life ended a bit that day. I was at work and received the call. The shock at first sent me to the floor of the conference room. I called my mom just screaming into the phone with tears, which the first thing in her head something happened to me as I couldn’t get any words out. My coworkers had to get me off the floor and take me out of the office. I sat in Madison Square Park just sobbing, and knew I had to make many phone calls. The first few were his family of course (they all lived in different countries). After that, I had to call Arman (Niall and I best friend). I can’t even describe to you in words the heartbreak of that phone conversation. I met with friends that evening and the next few days to support each other, but I was so lost. I had no feeling, I had nothing. All I kept saying was why? Why even put him my life if he was going to be taken? I knew I wasn’t going to get those answers, so I knew the only way I can make this better is to help his family. I started a Go Fund Me page for his memorial and we raised $32,000 for everything that needed to be done. I put my head into being “Business Amanda” so I didn’t have to deal with the pain. I knew this was my way of dealing with losing my very best friend. Well, that definitely wasn’t the answer. To this day I emotionally breakdown quiet often, there is a little piece of my heart missing that I will never be able to get back. I was very angry for a long time, like why? How? What did he do? He was such a great person so why take him? This is where yoga comes in a lot as well, it taught me to be ok with this, and it taught me that he was put in my life for reason even if it was a very short time. He was here to help me in my transition to New York; he was my angel then and is my angel now. I could write page after page on our stories, the memories everything, but I wanted to just write a little bit about him. He was my light in a dark time and I will always be grateful to him and his family. A year after Niall’s death I flew to Ireland to surprise his dad, Niall’s sister and I planned it. Ray (Niall’s dad) had no idea. I flew over for the weekend as I didn’t have much vacation time then. We had him go to his hometown (where Niall grew up) pub; I walked in and asked him if I could buy him a pint? The look on his face was priceless and so heartwarming. We cried that night so much, we did shots, we drank in honor of Niall and it was something I will always remember. I will always remember the times with Niall and the new memories his family/our friends and I are making with him watching over us.
Niall was once everything I had and this is where I say to you all; please cherish the people in your life as you never know what tomorrow will bring you. We all have a Niall in our lives; take the time to appreciate them. It could be a best friend; it could be your significant other or a family member. Cherish everyone, reach out, be kind, have compassion. My heart breaks for him every day, but I know he doesn’t want that so this year on the anniversary of this death I thought writing about him and sharing his light would be more beneficial.
Much LOVE, XOXO