By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Classmates of Kaitlyn Finnegan at Bishop Kelley High School are reeling after the loss of one of their own. Grieving students at the tight-knit private school attended a memorial mass on Monday afternoon for the 18-year-old senior.
"I definitely think she's going to live on. Just because she's not here right now doesn't mean that she's not going to always be here with us," said Kaitlyn Clarke, Bishop Kelley senior.
Kaitlyn Clarke shared more than just a name with Kaitlyn Finnegan. She and fellow senior Katie Streif shared their lives with the 18 year old. The trio grew up together and the three were only a few weeks away from finishing high school together.
"We were really excited to graduate with her in two months, and now we won't get to," said Katie Streif, Bishop Kelley senior.
Instead, the friends, as well as the rest of the Bishop Kelley community, are left to cope with the sudden loss of Kaitlyn. In an effort to help that process, the high school held a memorial mass Monday afternoon for students, parents and faculty.
"The emotion everyone had together, you just saw the love people had for her and for each other, and it just makes you want to never take people for granted, and make sure you tell them how much you love them every day," said Kaitlyn Clarke.
"I've never seen so many people cry. People I didn't expect to be hurting are," added Katie Streif.
As police continue to sort out exactly what happened to Kaitlyn Finnegan on Saturday night, her friends say they are focusing on the positive. They are decked out in purple, Kaitlyn's favorite color. They say they will never forget her smile, her giggle, and her love of life.
"It was a reality check for a lot of us I think. Just that I mean that life is so precious and you can't waste any of it," said Kaitlyn Clarke.
Katie and Kaitlyn Clarke are encouraging not only their own classmates, but all Tulsa high school students, to wear purple on Tuesday in an effort to support the Finnegans.
Kaitlyn Finnegan's funeral will be held at 3 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon at Saint Pius Church.