MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Hundreds of community members, family and friends honored the life of a Mooresville teen on Sunday, Nov. 14.
Lopez was known affectionally as "Nathan" by most of his close friends and family. On Sunday, there was a line to sit in the stands at the high school's Joe Popp Stadium.
As people made their way inside, they signed makeshift yearbooks in remembrance of the yearbook Nathan would never receive.
Nathan's friends stood center stage sharing their love.
“All through our childhood years, you showed me what it's like to laugh as hard as I could and love everybody around me," one friend addressing the crowd said.
Nathan's mom, Ashley Lopez, was surrounded by happiness and hugs after the ceremony.
“We had people fly in from Mexico," Lopez said. "We have people that have driven in from Texas."
Lopez pointed to some of Nathan's friends who made long trips for the celebration of life.
"Here’s one right here. Leah, she grew up with him drove straight. Madison she drove from Georgia," Lopez said.
Nathan left a strong impression on all his friends.
“He was always somebody who you could talk to and he cared about everybody else maybe more than he did about himself," Hunter Jones, one of Nathan's long-time friends, said.
Jones said his best friend struggled sometimes.
“He had really bad social anxiety," he said. "And then through meeting me and my friends, and some of his old friends, we all got together and made a friend group and everything.”
The celebration of life talked openly about suicide prevention awareness and asking for help when you need it.
“That was my whole goal to at least save one," Lopez said. "He was ready to go but we might be able to save one more.”
Lopez said she is standing with the help of the community that loved Nathan.
If you or a loved one are facing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help. People can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or chat with them online. There are also resources in North Carolina available here and in South Carolina available here.
The family is also encouraging people to make memorials to The Trevor Project.
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