Ben Clark was laughing with friends at school last Monday, getting ready for his upcoming graduation and by Wednesday afternoon, Clark had ended his life bringing an almost palpable feel of loss to the school as students entered on Thursday morning.
Clark grew up in the Lake Stevens School District and was known as a calm, funny, smart kid getting ready to take on life as an adult.
Friends Alexia Demary and Ryan Lavering are mourning the loss of their well-liked classmate, along with the rest of the students and staff at Lake Stevens High School.
“Ben was always a really funny and great kid. He was one of those people that had a great energy and always had something to say,” Demary said about Clark.
Lavering has known Clark for the past six years. He remembers a good kid who worked hard in school and could bring a smile to the faces of his friends.
“Ben was the nicest kid ever. He had the driest sense of humor and when you talked to him he’d actually listen to you. He always asked me how snowboarding had been that past weekend and honestly listened to and cared about what I said,” Lavering recalls. “He had an awkward, dry sense of humor. He made me laugh quite a few times and he was very smart and we worked on many projects and labs throughout high school.”
When tragedy strikes, communities come together and this is what has happened with the students at the high school. Kids and staff are uniting to remember their friend, student and classmate as he lived, not as he died—something his friends are very passionate about.
“The school is really coming together and mourning the loss of a great person and friend. We are all together going through the same thing and we all have a shoulder to cry on. It’s hard to see people you care about hurting so much,” Demary said. “It shows how much people cared about him and how much of a powerful person that Ben was. He was a really great guy with a really great spirit and it’s going to be hard knowing that the guy that you’ve grown up with for ten years isn’t going to be at graduation with the rest of us.”
Clark never gave the impression that he was depressed so the news of his death stunned all those who knew him making the mourning process even harder.
“Right now, as I’m typing this four days after his death, I still cannot wrap my mind around what has happened. I’m still in a complete state of shock. It’s too hard to accept,” Lavering said. “This is the most unexpected thing that could ever possibly happen in this world. Everyone is shocked and no one has any idea of why he did this.”
His friends want to celebrate his life and remember Clark as the hard-working, upstanding kid that he was. Demary hopes that his family knows how much he was loved.
“I just ask that everyone pray for his family and for his friends. We really all need to come together to make it through this tragedy,” she said.
“He was a good kid, he wasn’t a punk. He wasn’t some bad kid. He did good things, had his own morals, and cared about people,” Lavering said. “He tried and excelled at school, and cared about others schooling and future. He was very caring.”