TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Seaman High School community is working to heal after the sudden loss of one of their own.
The celebration of Brenna Morgart's life Sunday afternoon at the high school inspired as many laughs as tears as students shared memories and hugs, held a moment of silence and wrote notes to Brenna Morgart that they tied to balloons.
Several hundreds of Seaman's students and staff, parents and teachers released the colorful sea of balloons as they let go of a sea of emotions.
"Brenna had a huge impact on everyone she met," Josey McNorton, who graduated with her, said. "She's probably the kindest person I've ever met in my life. I really hope I met someone as kind as her again in my life," he said, tearing up at the memory of his friend. The two had become friends during a mission together freshmen year, building homes at an Apache Indian reservation in Arizona.
Students say the way Morgart lived is helping them heal, now that she is gone.
"She was that person, that personality, where you could be having the worst day of your life, and she would somehow change that in a matter of seconds," Keaton Arnold said. Arnold graduated with Morgart and served with her on the Seaman Student Council.
Morgart's 18-year-old life was cut short after a car collision on Friday. Schoolmate Dustin Leftwich, who graduated in 2010, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death. Morgart's body was found three miles from a collision scene in the 6600 block of Northwest Huxman. Leftwich's parents told authorities their son was involved in the incident.
High school counselor Patty Allacher said the memorial event is about unity, not division and students understand that.
"Dustin is a great kid and the Leftwich family [a] great family. They too are mourning the loss of Brenna," she said.
Friends, teachers and staff wrote notes to Morgart's parents, Dennis and Barbara, and the two siblings she left behind.
They shared their favorite moments and laughed and cried at the memory of the 18-year old whom they described as sometimes quiet and thoughtful, sometimes feisty, but always full of life.
"She lived every day, like it was her last," Arnold said.