COQUITLAM — If Amanda had been here, she would have been so proud.
It's the emotional sentiment from Josie Driscoll, a good friend of Amanda Todd who was one of hundreds to show up at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam Friday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the Port Coquitlam teen.
"If she [Amanda] saw this, she would be very overwhelmed," said the Grade 9 Riverside Secondary student.
Driscoll said she's been an emotional wreck since Amanda took her life last last week.
The pair had been friends since Driscoll was in Grade 7, and the two would vent to each other about the bullying they faced on a regular basis.
She said Amanda always stayed strong during the years of torment, describing her as having a bubbly personality.
"She was my personal inspiration, I would look up to her," Driscoll told The NOW.
The teen said she's been bullied in a similar fashion, and it continues even in light of Amanda's death.
"I'm not going to take my own life because I don't want people to grieve like they were over Amanda," Driscoll said.
With her friend gone, she now takes comfort in the hope that people are going to change for Amanda.
Todd, who was a Grade 10 student at Coquitlam Alternate Basic Education (CABE) Secondary in Coquitlam, committed suicide on Oct. 10, a month after posting a YouTube video about her experiences battling bullies over an incident that occurred a few years back.
Residents from all over gathered at the lake shortly before nightfall, many holding candles, while others were wiping away tears and sharing hugs.
Some just stood in sombre silence.
The vigil was organized through a memorial page on Facebook.
After a few brief speeches by political dignitaries, people took turns laying candles in a heart formation around a picture of Amanda.
But Friday night's vigil wasn't just meant for those who knew the teen, it was a chance for the community to come together to grieve and talk about the issue of bullying .
Taylor Schwab said some students at her Scott Creek Middle School were making rude comments after hearing about Amanda's death.
Though the talk has subsided in recent days, she doesn't have much faith that the Port Coquitlam teen's story will change much for others being bullied.
"Your story follows you everywhere," Schwab said.
Melinda Heans, a student at Terry Fox Secondary, said bullying is still a big problem in the classroom, suggesting the schools don't want to deal with issue.
"If I knew who she [Amanda] was, I would have tried to become her friend to try and stop this," she said.
Amanda Mcalister is now out of the school system, but she remembers being bullied throughout her high school years in Port Coquitlam and wanted to be at the vigil.
She said she got through those tough times with the strength and support of her family, and now she hopes Amanda's story will change attitudes toward bullying.
"I'd like to believe it will," she said, while holding a small candle.
Natasha Malone said she was also bullied for years in several Tri-Cities schools, and seeing Amanda's YouTube video impacted her greatly.
"Children need to be helped when they're being bullied," the 23-year-old PoCo resident said.
Malone credited a couple of teachers with helping her, adding she wouldn't be alive if they weren't around.
Suzie Ja has kids out of the school system, but urged parents to listen to their children.
"I think Amanda's sacrifice has opened things up that she had no idea would open up," she said.
Meanwhile, the organizer of the vigil wanted the evening to be part of the healing process in the community.
Chelsea Djakovic, a resident of Maple Ridge, said she was "touched" by Amanda's video and wanted to help in some way.
"I figured this was a good way for the community to get together and show their support and say their goodbyes," she said.
Djakovic, who was also bullied in her youth, said she wants teens in a similar situation to know they aren't alone and life goes on after high school.
"I hope this never happens to anyone again," she said.
The Lafarge Lake vigil was one of several held around the Lower Mainland and across the globe.
The Todd family intends to hold a memorial service for Amanda on Nov. 17 in Port Coquitlam.