Remembering Aronno Haque

I wept tonight.  I cried for my friend, and Wabash brother, Aronno Haque. Tonight was his memorial, planned by students and alumni, and given in the Pioneer Chapel, the most iconic building on Wabash campus.  There were many tears shed at this memorial, but amongst the sadness there was hope.  Being together, many of us having not only Aronno as a connecting factor, but also Wabash College, was a good thing.  There was solidarity.  As Dean Oprisko mentioned: it was good that break was over so that we could all be together.

After the memorial, I had the chance to talk to many people, including Dr. Blix, professor of religion and class ’70; Kalp Juthani, class ’15; and Alexander Hernandez, class ’16.  Kalp and I spoke about how this was an interesting time for us, emotionally.  Both of us have had the fortunate experience in never having dealt with this in our lives.  Believe me, experiencing a new range of emotions at 21 years of age is a strange phenomenon.  We talked about how all of the cliches associated with death seem to become much more considerable upon actually facing death.  “It will get better.”, “At least we have the memories.”, etc.  These are all things that are easy to scoff at until you realize that they are actually meaningful.  I am learning that now, the hard way.

A large picture of Aronno at the memorial.

I mentioned in a previous blog about the first time that I met Aronno: freshman year at a ‘shOUT meeting.  Recently, I began thinking about the last time that I had a substantial conversation with Aronno and the only thing that comes to mind is when I asked him to take over ‘shOUT for me at the beginning of last semester.  I was finding it too difficult to juggle all of my extracurriculars and my academic work, so I decided to baton pass my ‘shOUT presidency.  Someone in the organization told me that Aronno had expressed some interest, so I brought the question to him.  He told me that he would love to take the ‘shOUT presidency, save for the fact that he was the president of the International Student Association at that time.  We both shared disappointment in him not being able to take the position, and parted ways.

Jeremy Wentzel saying some kind words at the memorial. Photo credit to Rob Shook, ’83.

While browsing Aronno’s Facebook, something I have been doing quite a bit recently (just to be able to look at pictures of him and shared memories from friends and famiy), I began to wonder what Aronno’s last social media words were.  We live in a time where people spill their whole lives onto various social media websites.  Y’know when famous people die, and they get their last words immortalized into some book?  I thought that it would be fine to do that using the representation of Aronno Haque given through his Facebook.

I recently went to his Facebook, before it is inevitably deleted, and decided to discover his first and last Facebook posts.  The first textual post (buried in the mountain of pictures that were posted onto his profile and some Facebook games) was something very stereotypical, and funny, from an almost 16 year old: “boooorrrrrreeeedddddd 2 DEATH”, on August 24th, 2007.  The last thing that Aronno posted on his Facebook was much more substantial: “Wish my parents had another child to love, nurture, scold and fight with.  Being the only one seems rather unfair today.” on December 28th, 2013.  As someone with many siblings, I can’t share Aronno’s sentiment, but the people in the comments of this post could, and I feel as though that is important.

Aronno may be gone but, as I previously mentioned, his memory does live on in all of us that had the pleasure of being graced with his kind personality and goofy smile.  I’ll always remember Aronno Haque.

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