So you never got to read the blog I wrote for you: DEAR CHOI.
I was already home past 5 yesterday from a usual unproductive day at the office when I heard about your passing. It was expected, at least, I kinda expected it but somehow I was hoping otherwise. The otherwise never came true. When I visited you at the hospital last weekend, I know I whispered and promised I was gonna bring you to an out of town activity, I guess I can’t fulfill that promise, eh?
So many posts on facebook and twitter about you. People saying they were gonna miss you. People with whom you shared training classes and consultation meetings were sad. Some were even texting me till 3-4 in the morning, asking the never-ending whys and what happened. My only response was, “He died”.
Some posts caught my attention.
One was saying that you were strong and that you had so much support, the post was saying that you did not reach out for help. That your strength was what you used to make it through your darkest hours– alone.
One said that there are so many support groups and programs in the country, questioning why people would not utilize these services.
One stated you gave up.
So What really did happen?
I opted not to share any information with a lot of people simply because
(1) they haven’t been around to even have the slightest idea what’s going on with you (of course this is typical especially with people you helped before and disappeared afterward since they’re okay)
(2) they knew you were in the hospital for weeks but never bothered to visit you (yeah, yeah. they’re busy and all…)
(3) they don’t even know you.
So what happened? You died.
But over and above what happened is what you went through. People will never know what others go through– what you went through. Did you fail to reach out to the support groups or did you simply opt not to reach out? If you opted out, is this a failure of the health system and the HIV program? Others like you will follow, some may fail to reach out, some may not know how to reach out, or some may simply opt out.
You have done so much for the advocacy. And you will be missed.
You have done so much for us whenever we needed a volunteer, and I will miss you. I will miss your two big front teeth, your lazy eyes, and the way you called me “kuya” while others (older than you) would call me Daddy.
Hey, I just received a message (a few secs ago) that a mass will be held for you tomorrow at the chapel, do accept my apologies as I am not comfortable with those kinds of things.
So this is it, eh? No more kuyas, no more crazy lazy eyes, no more HIV screening activities, no more World AIDS Day, no more candlelight, no more with you.
Yeah, I know, I know, Choi will be with us forever, in our hearts, in our memories, and that BS.
But you and I know better.
Bye, dear Choi.