Friday, February 26, 2016

When A Close Friend Becomes an Angel

Earlier this week, I got the news from Facebook that one of my closest male friends died.

It just doesn’t feel real to me yet, for I had only just talked to him a day before his birthday … about a couple of weeks ago. He sounded pretty happy—happier than he had been in a very long time, as if he had been resurrected somehow.

Then this happened, and I just can’t shake the “why” or the “how”, because of the aforementioned. In these few days, I’ve wandered between numbness, pain, and overall sorrow. Tears form and spill before I can even stop them. I was watching the latest wrestling pay-per-view when I got the news and was sobbing throughout the remainder of the show, since I knew how much he liked wrestling—although he was in the process of playing catch up.

I teased Zu about taking his hat because he knew I liked it so much.

I have always kept my circle rather small, and the past few years, it’s gotten even smaller. Yet he has always been there—one of the people who actually saw me and decided that was not only enough but acceptable.

Not only has he been a constant … he was beyond that. I don’t even know if there are enough words or even proper words to explain his significance. This may sound cliché, but have any of you ever encountered someone where a fostered connection is so seamless, it is as if you have always known each other? He is a guy I had that with and it was never awkward talking to him. His aura just whispered “welcoming”—even if he didn’t have the answer, he was just good at listening.

I’m not saying that my friend was perfect. In many ways, he was better than me—in the sense of giving people the benefit of the doubt, being a believer that if people wanted to badly enough, they are willing to change for various reasons … for love, for themselves. Over time, through primarily my own episodes with love and loss, I became a bit cynical yet I had (and still possess) an appreciation and respect for his optimism.

He and I talked about many things in the over two decades we knew each other. I would go on tangents of deep conversation from time to time—hypothetical, philosophical, even rhetorical—but he understood and often times related to the journey. We cherished friendships rich with reciprocity. Both of us sought authentic love, enduring love—the balances to check our flaws and to enhance our possibilities. For us both, the trail littered with the stench of events that were the opposite. For us both, we asked the “why” and the “how” because such things didn’t compute in our program of how to treat human beings.

There was so much I had to say to him but I wanted to say them in person. I wanted us face-to-face to have our laughs, our fun, our life updates. All of the happenings that could not be covered in just one phone call or a series of them … but then, He came and now, Zu’s physical self is gone.

I confess to being selfish.

True, he no longer has to suffer any physical pain or any mental, emotional or psychological strains. I know I’m not alone when I say that I wasn’t ready for him to go.

When you have an individual that has a kind nature, one who makes you forget of your own woes just by talking to him or being around him, a person that is a friend through and through, you want that person to stay … stick around until you’re old and gray.

I hope he understands why I can’t bring myself to attend his Homegoing. I refuse to promise I’ll keep it together because I know that it’d be a lie. It was a struggle for me when my grandfather passed away. When I could no longer take the cries of “Be strong for everyone else” or the hundreds of people who came to my grandfather’s funeral but were nowhere to be found when my grandfather was at his worst, my closest friend was there—to take me away from the madness for a little while … so I could be human. It was one of the greatest gifts he ever gave me.

Rest in peace and love, Zu.

1 comment:

Author Y. Correa said...

I'm literally sobbing. <3 My true and sincere condolences.