As Elon University students filed into Numen Lumen's Sacred Space Sunday night, a brief moment of sadness swept through the room. But as friends shared memories of Katerina Diaz, a former member of the Class of 2016 at Elon who passed away on Wednesday, they could not help but smile.

Diaz touched the lives of several students during freshman year. Although she was disabled and in poor health, the word 'optimistic' consistently emerged throughout conversation.

Meir Goldstein, associate chaplain for Jewish Life, led the discussion in the Sacred Space and spoke to the group reminding them loss is a natural feeling in the grieving process.

"It helps to keep their memory living on and helps us as the mourners dealing with our own grief," he reminded students.

Dorian McCorey, senior, who was a freshman year hall mate described Diaz as "one of the most positive people I've ever known."

He also added that her death came as a shock.

"It's very devastating, it's tragic because her life is gone so soon, but at the same time I know God has put her in a better place and she is out of pain."

Those wishing to speak to someone about this are encouraged to contact Counseling Services at (336)-278-7280.

This story is being jointly reported by The Pendulum and Elon Local News.