Abigail Javier

Who was Abby?

Esther Olusoji – Abby was my best friend since first grade. 

Jaylynn Miller – She was my best friend and someone that I could always go to if I needed anything. She was also someone that always made me smile anytime I saw her.

Erika Landa – Abby was an extremely lovable and nice person. There wasn’t a time where she wasn’t making jokes. She always had a smile on her face with her infamous dimples. Overall, she was a genuine and nice person who cared about her loved ones and friends.

Kailyn Ramirez – My best friend.

Caitlin Konopek – I was Abby’s coach during her JV volleyball season at East.

Dominique Munsie – Abby was one of my students in my 3rd period class. She was one of those students you know you can count on to actually be listening to what you are saying even if the people around her weren’t. She was someone whose presence was noticeable and whose absence is noticeable. She was part of our classroom family and she is irreplaceable.

Kurt Dolson – She played volleyball and I’m the head of the volleyball program, so she didn’t play when she would’ve been on varsity, which is what I coach, but she was within the program and I got little interactions with her there. She was really talented at volleyball, so it was kind of a bummer that she didn’t come out her senior year. Those were my first interactions with her, but then I had her as an AP student in her senior year so it was kinda cool to see her younger versus older and kinda see how she changed. But also she was always that nice and kind student that whole way through. When I went to the wake they had pictures of her playing volleyball as a kid and she was super talented and it showed. 


What was something unique to her? Your favorite thing about her?

Olusoji – My favorite thing about Abby was that we could just say anything to each other, and I would just say the most absurd things, and she would do this one look where she would put her hand to her face, like surprised, but then she would start dying laughing. I think just her reactions, and also her really deep dimples, were my favorite things about her. There was just so much to her. 

Miller – She always found a way to make a bad situation better. I saw her everyday for first period so right in the morning we would always recap what’s going on in our lives and she would always help me see the bigger picture and how I should go about things instead of me acting out in a petty way in bad situations. She taught me the right way to do things.

Landa – My favorite thing about Abby was her playfulness and humor. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t laughing or smiling when I was with her.

Ramirez – My favorite thing about Abby was her laugh.

Konopek – Although Abby was a quieter, more reserved player on the team, her hardworking demeanor spoke volumes. Regardless of playing time, she continued to show up each and every day with a positive mindset and attitude to better not only herself, but also her team.

Munsie – Abby was beautiful inside and out. She could always be seen smiling or giggling in class with her friends, taking pics, texting a certain someone who sat across the room from her. She just had a smile that was infectious.

Dolson – She took AP physics and she seemed to struggle at the start of it, but you could really see her perseverance and what really showed was that she would seek out others that were struggling too, so it’s not only that she had the bravery to be like, “Hey I’m struggling can you help me?” But also being able to relate to those other students who were feeling alone as well. I know after she passed, there were a couple times where some students were like, “I just can’t take this test today because I was gonna text Abby for help.” I think things like that show her impact and even things like that where after she passed, people would still think “I relied on her to be that rock for me,” so she was like that for many people in the school.


How did she inspire those around her?

Olusoji – She was so incredibly smart. Honestly, I always looked up to her and I never felt any competition between us, and my mom, who was friends with Abby’s mom as well, would always compare me to her, but not in a competitive way. And about volleyball, I think it was in 7th grade when she played volleyball at this recreational center and I kinda wanted to get into it and she said, “You should join” and it was kinda fun. She would also always complain about homework but she would still keep up and still have an A so I would want to be like her. 

Miller – She was with the volleyball club way longer than I was but it was interesting for me and she helped me understand how the game worked because I was very new at it and I didn’t understand things like, “Oh, we’re in the same position, why are you getting more playtime than me?” But I understand it now. 

Konopek – Abby was a true team player and consistently had a positive attitude and mindset on and off the volleyball court. She encouraged and supported her teammates, even during a difficult game or drill. This positivity continued no matter if she was having a difficult day, or even if she was not on the court playing – she was always there to support her teammates.

Munsie – Abby always tried to do her best, but the best part about her was that she inspired those around her to also try their best. As a teacher, strategically I knew if I got Abby to do her work, she would inspire and get her friends to do theirs as well. 

Dolson – I didn’t see her that much but if I remember correctly, she was on the JV team and she led the team that way. But I don’t remember her getting involved in all the clicks that can happen in that sport. She was just kind of the neutral party who always just wanted to make sure everyone was involved. 


Do you have any moments/memories that stand out or remember?

Olusoji – One of my favorite memories was last year. We were always together during lunch and that was when we still had our masks and there were the small white tables [at the back of the lunch room] and we would sit there because we had no other friends in that lunch period and we would always call each other like “loser” and stuff but I really just enjoyed her company. I only had her lunch for the first semester and that semester was the best. Second semester was all downhill without her. 

Miller – Definitely first period [life skills] with her. She always made it super funny because our class was super quiet and we were the only two people that were super loud and she would always make me laugh somehow during yoga and it’d be extremely quiet. 

Landa – Playing with her every single dat after school when we were in elementary school. We’d eat snacks, make holes in her yard, and ride our bikes.

Ramirez – A memory with Abby that I will cherish the most is when we spontaneously volunteered to dress up in an inflatable dragon costume for a Halloween event at a public library.

Konopek – I coached Abby during our Covid season – where we were still juggling with a lot of the quarantine restrictions. It was one of our last games of the season when a player got sick and Abby had to fill in that position for the game. This was not a position that she always played or was 100% comfortable with, but she went into the game without hesitation and absolutely played her heart out that day. It was a very proud moment for both myself and for Abby.

Munsie – Her laugh. Her smile. Every day she would come in and walk directly to my fan and turn it off because it was right where she sat and it was cold. It became a little joke where she would walk in and turn it off then look at me and smile without a word. I could have turned the fan off before that class, but I left it so she could turn it off. When second semester started without her, it felt empty. I keep the fan off now.

Dolson – Just watching her play volleyball on JV and just going, “Oh man, I hope she stays with it.” It really speaks to her talents as a person.


What do you want people to remember most about her?

Olusoji – I feel like when it comes to losing people, everyone is always sorry and they never really know that person too. But I just want people to know that she had the same thoughts as us; as teenagers; as girls; as a high school student. She thought exactly like us. She was exactly like us. And she was once here, and now she’s gone. It’s like a part of the school is lost now too. She had her goals and she had things that made her sad. And just like all of us, she would wake up everyday, dreading school, she would have volleyball, she’d eat and do everything. She was a human. 

Miller – I want everyone to remember that she was a person that anybody could go to no matter what and she would always find a way to help someone. She was never a bad person and she was always very positive and always smiling and laughing and making people feel better about themselves. 

Dolson – I think her smile really just sticks with you. She always made sure to say goodbye while most students just shuffle out of the classroom, but she made sure to acknowledge you as a person and smile. You kind of felt seen when she would talk to you and see you. I would just say her ability to calm people as she was around them.


What were her dreams in life?

Olusoji – Earlier this year, I started realizing that on TikTok she would repost videos of fields of grass and beautiful places around the world. I feel like that’s what made us really similar because at some point in my life I want to travel and go everywhere around the world. When I saw that she started reposting those TikToks, I was like “Okay, maybe we could go together,” because that was one of her dreams. She wanted to travel and be in a nice beautiful place and be alone. 


What would she say to this year’s graduation class?

Olusoji – She would just say, “Go for it. Have fun.” There’s this saying that I’ve been hearing lately that’s “Do it for the plot.” I feel like she would definitely say that. She would say just go for it and be happy. It doesn’t matter if you got rejected or if things don’t turn out how you want it to. As long as you try. Just try and live as much as you can. That’s something she’d definitely say. 

Miller – She’d say, “Just do you and don’t do anything stupid and don’t worry about what other people think of you.”

Ramirez – Something Abby always told me was to put my happiness above everything else.


What would you say to those dealing with or coping with loss?

Olusoji – Well, before losing Abby, I would always hear people say “Grief never gets easier, it’s always gonna be there,” and now that I’m going through that, it really, really is true. I don’t think it’ll ever get easier because it’s like a wave, where I’ll totally be okay and suddenly a random memory will just flash and then it all hits me at once. Honestly, just know that it’s okay to cry. At first, I just did not want to cry. But honestly it feels better crying than trying to hold it in. There’s also this one saying, “Grief is just love that’s passed on after life,” and that’s extremely true. Just let it all out.

Miller – Remember all the good memories and none of the bad ones. I struggled with that and still do a little bit. Looking back at all the things that made me laugh about her is something that everybody should be focusing on. It is way easier to talk to somebody, but for me it’s very hard, but I found one person who I could talk to and feel very comfortable with. Even that’s enough because holding it in is very bad and you could only avoid it for so long and the more I avoided it, the harder it was. It’ll be uncomfortable and it’ll take time but it’s something that needs to happen.

Konopek – Take the time to appreciate and admire all the beauty and people in your life. Although someone may be physically gone, look around for all the reminders of those people throughout your day.

Munsie – As someone dealing with a lot of loss, I would say that it sucks. It’s hard. Sometimes you feel like you’re not going to make it. But…you do. I don’t know how. I think we all have this inner strength that we don’t realize and it propels us forward and keeps us going. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time.

Dolson – Everybody has loss somewhere in their life, right? So it’s kind of a humbling experience when you can really connect with people, so taking Abby’s bravery and her struggle and reaching out to people, if you’re struggling with loss then you have to reach out to people to or maybe even reach out to people you might not know and they might be experiencing that stuff as well. It’s just taking that bravery and that step to show people, “Hey, I’m vulnerable and you can be vulnerable too.” 


If you had one more day with her, how would you spend it?

Olusoji – Honestly, I think I would just spend the whole day talking. This year was a little different because last year, first semester, we had all classes together and second semester we had no classes together. And then we didn’t hang out during the summer so coming back with her in this class was kinda different. It’s not like we were distant from each other but there was definitely a little pause in our friendship. So I feel like I would just sit and talk to her about everything that I didn’t get to tell her about and listen to stuff that she didn’t get to tell me about, and just be like little kids again.