I don’t know you well, but I lost you anyway.
I lost you on the way from Zadar, three years ago. After I received the unexpected notification, I remembered looking out of the van down the scenic road, and nothing much after. It was as though as I ate an ice cream too fast, except that the brain-freeze lasted longer than a few seconds. The world then felt as though it simultaneously sped up and slowed down, like a broken record player.
That day, I walked into a tiny church, while the rest of my friends were enjoying the scenic view of Croatia. I sat at the pew alone as I mourned for you. I lit a candle and prayed for your safe journey. And once again, I struggled to cope with the brutality of loss. You were a difficult person to know, with your barrier up and ego high, but you were family. Despite that, given the circumstances of how you left, it pained me to know that you may be alone in your final moments.
I hardly looked at the photographs taken during the trip since, knowing that behind posed smile that looked natural were seemingly forced. As days turned into weeks and months into years, I learn to cope with grief, one of the many inevitable life lessons that shape and define us.
But once in a while, I look up at the sky sometimes, and hope that wherever you are, you finally found peace.