But that is exactly what 20-year-old Autumn Kreifels is struggling to do as she remembers the friend who died Sunday in the house fire she survived.
"You wish you could have done more," said Autumn, standing in the rain with relatives and friends who narrowly escaped the flames.
Four adults and three children had been inside the home but safely evacuated.
Kitsap County Fire and Rescue found a man dead after putting out the fire that destroyed a two-story house on NE Wellsly Place in east Bremerton.
"There were flames blocking the whole front entry. There was just no way to go back in. It's so sad," said Autumn.
She does not want to identify the family friend until she's sure all his relatives know what's happened.
Autumn also wants people to know she lost a beloved family pet. A St. Bernard that police say tried to save the man.
"Police told us they found our dog Chevy next to the deceased, holding onto his arm, and they believe he was trying to pull him out," Autumn said.
"We've lost a close family pet and a close family friend. There's a lot of guilt that goes along with that."
Chevy and the victim were found on the second floor of the home.
Investigators say four adults and three children were home when the fire broke out just before 5 a.m.
All but the deceased victim made it out on their own.
The fire marshal said it's too early to know what may have caused the fire. Nothing about it appears suspicious at this time.