Yesterday, I found out that one of my former students at the elementary school I teach at had passed away from an asthma attack. Today, I found out that one of my friends who I was very close to in middle school had passed away from an accident. I feel like I’m writing a “No Subject” email to the universe about my thoughts and emotions on these losses. The consecutiveness of the deaths certainly add to the weight of what I feel right now.
While I may not have known my 7-year-old student too well for the short time I taught him, it is incredibly tragic to think that I had outlived one of my students. My immediate reaction is that this isn’t the way life is supposed to be! People die when they’re old, not when they’re young! But I think we know all too well the reality of death, and its instantaneousness. Yesterday was the International Day of Peace and today at school, third graders put up Pinwheels for Peace outside the school gates to promote peace in our community and our world. I hope you were able to see these pinwheels and they were able to provide you with all the happiness and peace wherever you are now.
I still don’t know how to feel about my friend who I used to be so close to. So far, I can’t help but reminisce all those moments we had together, and while they were back in middle school/early high school, I remember all our talks and hangouts so fondly. From subway rides home to walks by the bay and late night AIM chats, but most importantly to me, your kindness and care. Hanging out with you was always so much fun. And you made me fall in love with rock music and even some metal. I always think of you when I hear “By The Way” (and other Red Hot Chili Peppers hits) or “Here In My Room” (and other Incubus songs), or pretty much anything in those genres of music.
I remember at one point I think in 8th grade, you were trying to figure out how to play the melody line of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” I’m sure you’ve got it now.
I’m not sure what else to say. In the same vein as this article, all I know is that sometimes we are so obsessed with following each other’s lives on Facebook without any intention of having an in-person real life meetup or conversation with that same person who we keep checking up on. It’s how connections die and friendships fade, even if we are wishing those people well. So here’s an open “I love you” to all of my friends I’ve had, still have, and will continue to make. I’ll be seeing you soon.