A close friend of a 16-year-old boy who was killed last Thursday (July 31) when he was hit by a train has given a moving tribute to her fellow student.
Below is a letter written by Isabel Rix, 16, who attended Warden Park School with Taylor James ‘TJ’ Sibley.
I first met TJ in year 10. He approached me while I was watching some of my friends play basketball.
The first words TJ ever said to me were: “That bag ... is excellent”. My red satchel, that I was very proud of, was on the floor next to me. He sat down. The second thing he ever said to me was: “Also those boots rock”. I was wearing a pair of Victorian style lace ups, which I was also very proud of.
TJ always seemed to love whatever shoes I was wearing and I promised I’d leave him all my shoes in my will. Now he will never get them.
Over time he began to confide in me. He told me about his thoughts and feelings. He would talk to me about being bullied and how much he hated getting up in the morning. We’d discuss the things that people would say and do. Together we would get all of the rubbish in day to day life off our chests. If someone said anything to him I’d stand up for him and I used to catch him squaring up to people in the corridors if they’d insulted me.
He cared more than most people and that was a wonderful thing.
TJ wasn’t always easy to get along with.
We had our ups and downs during our friendship but honestly that made sense considering the struggles he had had. But even if you were arguing and no matter what it was about he would always be there when you needed him.
He would always make sure that I was okay when he knew something had been bothering me. If it had been a different friend who had pass ed away and not him, he would have done anything to make sure I was okay.
I will miss discussing ways of bringing Freddie Mercury and John Lennon back to life so we could have dinner with them. I will miss talking about The Cure and The Beat. Most of all I’ll miss talking about the world around us, talking over problems and laughing at his silly comments. TJ was never afraid to be himself and he’d egg you on in being yourself. He was so supportive of his friends’ dreams, he’d never tell you that you couldn’t do something or that something wasn’t possible. No matter how far fetched he would believe that you could do it. I wish he’d had that belief in himself. He was capable of great great things. TJ wasn’t just a depressed boy who took his life. He was my friend. I miss him.
John Lennon said “I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car and into another.” TJ just wanted a new car.
Peace and Love TJ, see you later mate.
If you would like to leave a tribute to TJ email firstname.lastname@example.org