Saturday, September 3, 2011


I found out, early on Friday morning, that you had slipped away the day before. I'd had no inkling that you were that sick - all my fault. I was so preoccupied with my own life, my own petty problems, that, instead of inquiring about your condition, I satisfied myself by hearing about your hospital ins and outs through my mom, who got the news from my aunt, who was kept informed through text messages from your brother. I'd gotten to the ALP office around 6 in the morning. As per usual, I checked my Facebook first. I opened a message from Sunmee unni. She wrote about you, about how shocked she was to hear the news, and she wanted me to call her. I knew. Scared, and with some dread, I dialed my home. I immediately asked my mom, who confirmed the news of your death. I remember hanging up and shaking. The tears started to come, as I sat in my cubicle. A coworker came over and rubbed my back, while others offered tissues. Somehow, I managed to stop crying for four hours to teach my two classes. The rest of the day was spent curled up in my pajamas. I cried while talking with Debbie. With Hye Sun. With my brother. I cried while watching tv. I cried with talking with my mom. Right now, as I type this, I just feel numb. It shouldn't be true - you shouldn't have left so soon. Yesterday, I felt angry that you hadn't shared how sick you were with your friends. Didn't you know how precious and important and beloved you were/ are? Why didn't you know? It's as though you wanted to leave quietly, without letting others know, as some people do at gatherings. Unni, I wish I could tell you how much you mean to me. How proud and blessed I feel to have been your friend, someone you counted as a friend. I imagined you, Sunmee unni and I, meeting up for years, whether in Korea or in other countries. We should still have 50 years left. At the same time though, I feel joy. I know you're with God now, and you've met your mom. You loved her so much, as she loved you. But I can't even begin to comprehend how your father and younger brother are doing now. This is all too sudden.