Opinion: Remembering Nick Massa

Samantha Karam is a sophomore journalism major. Contact her at [email protected]

Samantha Karam

To most, Nicholas Massa is the freshman who died in Ryan Place Apartments on Sunday night, but I knew him as more than a headline.

No matter how old or big he was, Nick always had an incredibly sweet smile. That’s what I think I’ll remember most about him.

When my family first moved to Westlake, Nick was one of the first friends I made. We went to the same high school and lived on the same street in a very close-knit neighborhood. Our paths crossed a lot.

We used to jump on trampolines, play backyard football and goof around as innocent kids together. All the neighbors knew him as “Big Nick” because at every stage of life he towered over everyone, but he was always a gentle giant.

After middle school, Nick and I occasionally talked when neither of us were in a rush to get anywhere. It was the little things like waves and smiles from across the street that made our friendship so delicate and simple. Now that he’s passed, I really regret never taking the time to have more small interactions like that with him.

“He died too young.”

“He was such a good person.”

“It’s a real tragedy.”

“I’m sorry.”

There are so many cliché sayings when dealing with a situation like this, but when you’re personally involved all those clichés they become authentic and sincere.

Nick took the clichés of death and made them real for me. After all, I watched him grow up. I got to see him transition into who he was on Sunday night and who he will forever be. I saw how much potential he had and where he was going. To have that progression cut off without warning—there’s no other way to describe it than “tragic.”

So many people loved him. My social media feed is evidence of that, and I really hope there’s an internet connection in heaven so he can see how many people miss him and who would give anything to have him back.

Rest in Peace, Nick. Your death was a heartbreak that should’ve never happened. I will never forget you, and I know all the houses in Westlake, especially those on Meadow Lane, are grieving and praying for you. The neighborhood will always feel a little emptier now that you’re gone.

Samantha Karam is an opinion columnist for the Kent Stater. For more information contact her at [email protected]