'Sometimes I'm angry and sometimes I'm celebrating his life'

'Sometimes I'm angry and sometimes I'm celebrating his life'

EUGENE, Ore - Flowers and flags flown at half-staff marked a tough start to the week for students at South Eugene High School.

Jack Harnsongkram and Connor Ausland were supposed to be there, too. 

Instead, their friends are grieving their loss.

Lilah Gonen met Harnsongkram in second grade.

"I can't expect when I'm going to be crying and when I'm going to be laughing and when I'm going to be completely dead panned," Gonen said.

Charley Gibson and Taylor VanderKley met Ausland in kindergarten.    
"It certainly comes and goes," Gibson said. "Sometimes I feel a lot of grief. Sometimes I don't believe it. Sometimes I'm angry and sometimes I'm celebrating his life."

"I was still physically and emotionally exhausted," VanderKley said.

Friends said Harnsongkram and Ausland touched hundreds of students.

"I cannot picture his face without a smile on it," said Elah Seidel, Harnsongkram's friend.

"He had enough love for everyone in this school," said Anna Persmark, Harnsongkram's friend.

"He was one of the brightest people I know," Gibson said. "He would light up a room immediately with a smile or his singing which wasn't as great as he thought it was."

Both were particpants in South's Mr. Axeman pageant, a group of 10 men selected as representatives for the high school.

On Monday, students all over Lane County showed their support by wearing South's signature purple, a movement started on Facebook last weekend

While the laughter and memories can't bring Harnsongkram and Ausland back, their friends said being together makes missing them a little better.

Ausland played on the South basketball team. Tuesday's boys basketball game at Churchill has been moved to Wednesday. It will now be played at South Eugene High School. A ceremony will honor the young men before the game.

A memorial service has been planned for Ausland. It's scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel.

There is no word yet on a service for Harnsongkram. KVAL News will let you know when we find out.