Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surreal Realization

This past week, I have been comforted by my friends, family members and co-workers regarding the loss of not only a close friend, but also a brotherly-like figure. Most people, I can assume, have a hard time understanding what it might be like to go through such a sudden loss. To be honest, I find it hard to believe myself - hence the title of this entry. I will try my best to put my feelings into words, so that I could help others that have gone through a similar situation. Yes, I understand that I was not this person’s family, but this was someone that I spoke to and saw regularly, and as you can see from my previous posts - someone who was very near and dear to my heart.

My amigo Omar was driving to a nearby park to play frisbee when he was hit by another car, which catapulted his car into a tree. He died on impact (he was wearing his seatbelt and his airbags deployed).  Later, we come to find out that the woman who hit his car, was actually fleeing from a previous hit and run, which is why the impact caused his car to hit the tree so hard. She also failed her field sobriety test (although her blood-alcohol content was below the legal limit) and admitted to the police that she was a recovering heroine addict and had used cocaine that morning. In the end, she was an idiot woman who, due to her terrible decisions that morning, ended the life of an amazing 28-year old. She is currently being charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide (a.k.a. they are throwing the book at her, as they should [see report here]).

For those who are informed of a sudden tragedy like this, I hope you are 1. not driving and 2. are close to a family member or significant other that can comfort you. I was fortunate to be home at the time when I received the phone call. Adrian, one his best friends, called and informed me that Omar was involved in a car accident. I quickly asked if Omar was alright, and he responded that he wasn’t. I inquired to which hospital he was in and that’s when Adrian told me that there was no hospital, because “He’s gone.” I can’t express how surreal this moment felt, I even asked if he was kidding or if it was an early April Fool’s joke. I have been feeling like this (surreal feeling) since. What’s comforting to know is that every one of his friends and family members that I have spoken to has felt the exact same way. There is lack of connection between our mind-brains and our mind-hearts. Mentally, we all understand that he’s gone, but in our hearts it just doesn’t seem real.

I attended his memorial service yesterday. I had selfishly hoped that it would be an open-casket wake so that I could have closure in seeing my friend one final time. Although his family opted for him to be cremated, I did feel a sense of closure and I got to say my final farewell because days earlier, Sean, his other best friend and roommate, asked if I would be willing to say a speech about Omar. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.

One thing that the memorial that I kept saying was, “This is so Omar.” His family asked for us to be festive and have this moment to be a celebration of life. Flowers and decorations were lighthearted in nature. If you were a friend of Omar’s then you knew of his favorite movies (his posters were everywhere in his house) and his favorite sports team (he bled Miami Marlins colors). Therefore, at the memorial, his movie posters were present and the soundtracks to these movies were played in the background. People sent flowers that were arranged into baseballs or a Miami Marlins baseball field diamond. People were also asked to wear red, his favorite color, or Miami Marlin’s colors. He also had a passion for film making, which is what he was doing full-time, so they had his professional video camera set up on the side.

Although many people spoke during the service, his sister gave the most wonderful speech. I won’t go into detail, but she reminded us to cry, but not to suffer, because if we suffer then Omar suffers as well. I left the memorial knowing that my friend will always be with me. I was also moved by the positive imagine that he left on this earth - it’s aspirational
It’s still tough,  but I will take every day as a gift and continue to live according to His will. 
Therefore, I end this post with his comforting words:
You’re a sensitive flower…But you’re right, you never know when someone might die, and most people take that for granted. Take it as another learning experience in life. Live life to the fullest and don’t ever take people, especially your loved ones for granted, because you never know. 

Love you Omii!!!

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