Discourse / Featured / Letters / October 31, 2012

In memory of Tundun Lawani: Student remembrances

On Sunday, Oct. 28, Knox College lost one of its students,Tundun Lawani ‘14. To commemorate her, students tied white ribbons to trees and light posts at intersection of West and South Streets. (Jessica Couvillier/TKS)

In memory of a sister

There are few words to describe someone like Tundun Lawani. As many times as I have tried to describe her over the last few days, no words have fully encompassed who she is. One aspect of Tundun that is the most vivid for me and I’m sure for others is her sense of humor. It wasn’t so much that she was simply funny; she was honest. Brutally almost, but you would never feel like she was being rude. She just told you the truth in that way that only Tundun could, and you couldn’t help but laugh. One of the phrases I remember most is when you would ask her a question and she would say “no,” the ‘o’ extending until everyone in the conversation would collapse into giggles.

Tundun was one of the best sisters anyone could ask for. Within Tri Delta and with other friends on campus, she would always greet you with a smile. And what a smile she had. She is one of those rare people who says “How are you?” and is genuinely interested in your answer. There were more times than I can count when I would be sitting in the lodge, and Tundun would just come over and just make my day with her smile, or offer a compliment out of the blue that could make the cloudiest days disappear in rays of sunshine. Her infectious laughter was one of the best parts of being with my sisters.

It still hasn’t quite settled in. I know what happened, but a significant part of me doesn’t think this could have happened. Someone who brought that much good into the lives of everyone she met could not have been taken away so tragically. I’ve rehearsed so many times the last times I saw her. Whether it was just in the hallways of Seymour; in Founders when she would walk by and say hello and goodbye in the same breath and smile that unforgettable smile; at numerous Delta events (particularly DHOP) where she tried to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” but didn’t know the words, but sung as loudly as she could anyway; to when I first saw her on campus this term and we hugged and she made me feel so welcome and at home again. I am desperately clinging to those memories because what can be remembered never goes away completely.

Sunday morning was surreal. Painful. And it still hasn’t ended. I know time is supposed to heal all wounds, but I can’t help but get angry that time continues on, and all I want to do is go back to Saturday night when I last saw Tundun and stay there. But time goes on, and I assume things will get easier. But for now, I take comfort in the fact that although Tundun did not live as long as we expected, she lived so much in the time she was given. Not only that, she inspired and gave life to everyone she came in contact with. If you did not know Tundun, there is no way I can express how beautiful of a person she was, inside and out, but I hope you can take what you seen on campus the past few days as her example. The love, compassion and support is what Tundun was all about, and it touches me deeply that some who may not have had the joy to know her can see her through the community that is Knox.
Lizzy Rodgers ’14


A farewell letter

My Dearest Tundun,

I feel so numb without you here.  I still am struggling to comprehend what has happened. I can’t imagine life without you, Tundun. When we all found out about your passing it was as if a huge wave of sorrow and darkness came over everyone. We were blindsided. We had to come to the realization that we lost a friend, a sister and a member of the Knox family. You have affected so many people’s lives for the better, Tundun. I am so happy to have been able to call you my friend and my Tri Delta sister. You always brightened the mood of any situation.  I seriously do not think you had a bad bone in your body. When I was having a bad day and I would see you, you would always say “Hi” to me in a way that lifted me up. Even though the last two days have been filled with tears and pain, when I think about you I cannot help but smile and remember all the joy you brought to this world. You always made me laugh; your laugh was contagious and your smile radiant.

I was talking about you today and the first thing that came to my mind was “Tundun is Knox.” It is true, Tundun, “You Are Knox!” You represent exactly what a Knox student should be.  You were so involved on campus; you were friends with such diverse groups of people and you brought people together just by being you. You loved life and had the ability to share this passion with everyone you knew. You brought us all together and connected us during your life and you do so after as well.

Life will never be the same without you, Tundun, but as we remember you and as we celebrate your life, we learn from you. We learn to love unconditionally, to live life to the fullest and to be as alive as we can be. We learn to live life just as Tundun Lawani did.

Tundun, you will live in my heart and my memory forever. You are and always will be a blessing to this world and we will never forget you. I love you, my sister, and I miss you.
“Got along without you before I met you; couldn’t get along without you now.”

Delta Love and All of Mine
Bekah Lauer ’14

Tags:  memory remembrance Tundun Tundun Lawani

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