The year 2013 hasn’t been the most kind for me. In the past two months, I’ve experience three deaths in my life. Now, how I know each person varies and to be honest, I haven’t talked to all of them in quite some time. The three that I had lost, each of them seem to represent to me the way in which death works.

One of my friends, she had been diagnosed with cancer years ago. She was given a short span of life, a death sentence that put a finite amount of time in which she could do only so much. What she did with that time was nothing short of miraculous, but there was always an end in sight. The thing though, she was expecting an ending. To think, for us to go through life with always this harbinger of futility breathing on your shoulder, makes  you wonder how much we truly take what we have been given for granted. When she passed, it was never something sad that we all experienced. Not to say that I’ve been desensitized to this whole occurrence, but I knew what was coming. Time played a fickle role in this. She extended her short death sentence to many years, knowing full well that this was to be “it”. Yeah, I miss her. Every day. But I don’t think that she ever wanted me to see the pain. It wasn’t to define her, for whatever she were to do, she set her own path. Death comes swiftly, but to expect it. That is something we should never have to accept. But then…

When my uncle passed away, news spread fast. Dealing with the age of the internet, emails were abound and I first learned of the news from all places, Facebook. But, his death didn’t seem real. He was a young man, barely 50. With life expectancies closer to the mid 80’s, it seems ridiculous for a man to lose his life just half way through living it. When a stroke occurs, it’s not something that comes expectantly. Though there might have been signs, no one expects something so serious to happen so suddenly. When the news broke, everything feel a part. It’s ridiculous to see those in his family step up to task of all that is expected. No one deserves to be put in this position, especially at such a young age. But when death happens, it comes swiftly. But when you’re not expecting it, how can anyone step into these roles and continue. But what if…

Even though we haven’t talked since high school, I felt she was still a part of my life in some way. Is it awkward to admit that you Facebook stalked her? Well, I mean I did. But who doesn’t? When I learned of her death days after, it utterly shocked me. When I see the pictures, all I see is happiness. I never knew what was underneath. How could I? I didn’t talk to her in 7 years, it’s not like she was the most important thing in my life. But she was a part of my life. To take a life, even yours, it seems so extreme that you question existence yourself. Depression is something that is just too commonly over-looked in the Asian American community. The pressures of multiple stereotypes feeding on our minds, slowly deteriorating any conscious thought process makes it so easy to realize why one can just up and end all of what has been given. It’s not so surprising that suicide becomes such a hot topic, especially when it’s so easily ignored in our community. To assume that it “never happens to us” is so faulty. It does. It may not be so prevalent compared to others, but these things occur. When you accept your own death, these decisions are acted upon swiftly. But to just give in and take your own life… it shatters the perception of life.

I’ve seen in this short time frame three different perceptions of death and how it affects those who it occupies. Death is short. Death is sweet. Death has no remorse. Death will linger in many forms. Cancer, health, depression; there’s so many varying factors that lead to this one consequence. To see if occur in such sequential order with each story taking different turns but ending the same, it truly does make you question life. I’m not here to discredit any god/religion/faith etc., but I will honestly feel for those that I have lost. It’s selfish though, because this wasn’t a person or people that I just lost, but others have as well. Life is a shared experience, and every interaction, little or big, seem to effect us in some way. I think this is to the utmost important when life is held accountable. That though you may live for yourself, your actions are felt by those around you. It may be an old friend, a mentor, or someone you hardly talked to, but everything they’ve done for me and others I will remember. All I can say and all I can give, is the shortest thing I will write. It means so little in the grand scheme of what we perceive as life, but it is to the utmost necessity that these words hold their true meaning. Truly this is what makes us feel, and why we do the things we do. All I can say for these people.

Thank you.