Picture Credit: http://www.today.com/
A genuinely good friend is hard to find, but thankfully for one high school student, she had four. Catherine Malatesta, a Massachusetts native, had died from stage 4 cancer on August 2nd, 2015. Before her death, she had worn a long blue dress to her junior prom, which her friends later took turns wearing as a way of honoring their close friend.
“It was bittersweet, but it was magical at the same time, because it was like she was with me was with me, and it was very special to wear the gown she loved so much,” 18 year old Emma Schambers, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island said.
“It was an honor,” she also said and indeed it was especially for Catherine’s mother Jennifer Goodwin, who had cried seeing such an act done knowing that her daughter had not been forgotten.
Grieving still this day, Goodwin mentioned how much she wished her child was still alive to enjoy her final year of high school, as she visited the four teens on their very own prom nights. Moments like this, she considered as a “joyful experience albeit laced with sadness.”- http://www.today.com/
To Goodwin, it seemed as if each of the girls “radiated such incredible light from the dress, it was as if the light was coming from the inside out.” http://www.today.com/
Even though the four girls did not all know each other prior to Catherine’s passing, sharing the dress amongst themselves had brought them together, helping them cope over a tragic moment. They all knew Catherine from different time periods of their lives and activities. Jillian Danton, had grown up in the same neighborhood as Catherine, and looked up to her as a big sister figure. She was the first to wear the blue gown to her prom on April 15. While in the dress, she felt as if her friend’s spirit was with her and deemed how memorable this experience was. There isn’t any other experience she’d trade for this special moment.
Next to borrow the dress was Emma Schambers, who met the deceased Arlington native at a summer camp. Mentioning how mad she knew Catherine would’ve been if she hadn’t worn the dress, she said “I felt her energy and I felt her confidence. I think it helped me have a great night.”http://www.today.com/
Following Schamers was Catherine’s field hockey buddy, Lauren Hourican who wore the gown to her senior prom in Arlington on May 20 . What could’ve been Catherine’s senior prom as well, Hourican had reminded herself to have a good time, that’s what Catherine would’ve done if she had still been alive .
“If Catherine was here, she’d be ripping up the dance floor and cracking jokes at prom pictures. It made me happy every time I’d look down at the dress. She wore this dress and she had one of the best times ever, so now I have to do the same for her,” Hourican stated according to http://www.today.com/.
Just recently on June 2nd was when Carly Blau . of Beverly, Massauchsetts, slipped into the dress for her senior prom. She shared how bittersweet this experience felt to her, but definitely more sweet than bitter. To her, by wearing the dress, helped keep her friend’s memory alive and wanted to show people that Catherine was that special type of friend worth remembering .
“…I was very, very happy to have her with me the whole time,” Blau also stated.
Blau, Hourican, Schambers and Danton mentioned how grateful they felt to have been given the opportunity to wear the blue sparkly dress, and now have each other to hang out with and rely on whenever they’re feeling down.
Who would think that such a tragic moment could create what they call “the sisterhood of the traveling dress?”
After all, there is light at the end of every dark tunnel.
Honoring Catherine’s life doesn’t end there, more people have reached out to Goodwin, requesting to borrow this dress, one of them being Catherine’s 7th grade cousin and two of her friends.
Quoted from Today.com, Goodwin said “Shuttling the dress back and forth and seeing Catherine’s friends carry on their love for her has been “such a positive light” amid heartbreak. The grieving mother continued by saying that moments like this helps her heal and move forward in her life.