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dearest z,

it’s been almost 2 years since you were gone. I started thinking about you very often recently, not that you were ever far from my thoughts during these 2 years.

there were increasing reports of suicide cases, talks of depression. it is good that more are coming out of their closets to share about their experiences in depression, it is becoming less of a stigma. and it is really good that more awareness is raised, and more understanding is achieved of this giant monster that can be so difficult to shoo away. we both know it so well. maybe that is why I started thinking about you again, started asking questions again. those same questions that I asked when I saw you in the brown box, and at this point, still trying hard to find answers. I thought I’ve surrendered these questions to God, I thought I’ve laid them all down at His feet. I guess they hang around, and creep up from time to time.. ambiguous loss that occurred suddenly is always painful, very painful esp. when I don’t know why, how, where and when, esp. when there are so much should haves, could haves, and what ifs. after 2 years, I still couldn’t believe that you were gone, gone for good. i’m starting to think that perhaps i’ll never come to a resolution, but maybe that’s ok, maybe there are just no resolution for some things in life. I felt better, in fact relieved to accept that I don’t need answers, I don’t need to resolve this.

you’d have wished me to forget the pain of losing you, you’d wished for me to let time heal the pain, move on, and fade in my memory and thoughts of you. but how can I? when I went to watch a play at the NLB, I remembered watching spectacular fireworks with you & E. when I went to AX, I remembered the time we met up for a jog. when I passed by WC, I remembered the times I visited you at your place. that day with PM event at the mall near my place, I thought of you. I even thought I saw faces among the crowd that look like you. there are memories of you everywhere. how can you ever fade in my memory? our friendship has left a permanent branding on me.

after coming across this post, I had new insights while trying to make sense of your death. and thinking back of the periods I myself had depression, I think I can finally have closure on the ‘why’. the why depression took you. my questions had been how could you leave a world where you could easily find delight in the littlest of things. how could you leave behind the people whom you loved so much, whom you devoted your 200%. how could you have given up on your own life when you see the good in everyone and see lives as precious. but you could because depression had you believed that you made this world a less pleasant place, it had you believed that the people whom you love will be happier without you, it had you believed the world is a better place without you. you could because you want to make this world better again, you want to make the people whom you love happier. it is always in you to make the world a better place, to make people around you happier. you would want to be able to do anything to make life better, and to make people smile.

back in uni days, when I had my darkest period, hiding in my dark hostel room all day long, crying my eyes out,  you were the hostel mate who would press your face against my door to hear if I was still alive, even if it meant looking silly. you were the one who kept slipping notes and cards underneath my door, encouraging me to talk, assuring me that I wasn’t alone. you were the one who patiently waited outside my door with a cup of warm milk, till I was ready to open the door, and when I did, you shed tears of relief. with your soft voice asking me to drink up and sleep, and tears streaming down your cheeks, I felt comforted that a friend was willing to cry with me, and feel my pain too. you were the one who gave me the space to cry it all out and work it all out. you were the only one who cried at my wedding because you were with me at my most broken state of relationship, and your great heart was utterly moved by how God restored that brokenness in the union.

you had always been willing to do anything, anything at all to make it all better. even if it means sacrificing your life. how could I think you were being selfish. you were not. you were just trying to make things better. how could I even think that you were weak. you were not. you were strong, you were brave.

I wished that I could stand by you to fight the depression monster like you did with me, but it wasn’t enough. I wished that you had not believe what depression had you believed. because those are all not true. the world is dimmer because your great personality is not shining anymore. the people whom you loved are not happier because you are not around. the world is not better because less love goes around from your big heart. my life is less warm because you are not in it anymore.

from now till I see you again in heaven, i’ll be missing you, and loving you, z.