|Roadtrip to start my new life|
I haven't connected with her for an entire year, but thanks to tech I was able to "catch up."
I went to Picasa and found all the images that I had of her from the beach, graduation and culture show. In all of these pictures we are embracing with our bodies so close that people would assume that we were lovers. There were a handful of candid pictures of her taken when I was amazed by how particularly gorgeous she was at that moment and stole a snapshot. I went to my blog and re-read the entries about her where I was inspired by her spoken word, intrigued by her ideas on love and appreciative for her support when I started my new chapter in LA.
I went to her facebook page and selected "See Friendship." I'm reminded of our 107 mutual friends, 9 pictures tagged together and all the random gushes of affection on each other's walls:
Through email I found 26 gchat sessions. One read simply, "i love you" sent on April 4, 2009.
Through facebook messages the last thing she sent me on November 23, 2011 was a random poem about performance and freedom; her last line written in Vietnamese after an attempt at Spanish: "Từ từ gặp nhau trong một nơi"
In my poor Vietnamese I translated in pieces: Slowly... we will meet.. in one .. space? Or We will connect in due time?
My parents confirmed that this is a saying in Vietnamese that poetically means - Eventually we will meet in heaven.
I was asked to speak at her funeral on December 29, 2012. I struggled with this idea since they were looking for a close friend from Berkeley. It didn't feel right, I hadn't talked to her in over a year. I only saw her a couple of times since graduating. I felt like I was not the right person to eloquently talk about her at such an important event in front of everyone that was involved in her life in a more substantial way. But as I tapped into old messages, pictures and posts I reconnected with the relationship that I had with her. She touched me. I initially decline because I had forgotten how much I loved her... and ideas began to pour in about what I would say about Christine as I accepted the honor of speaking during her funeral
She was organic. She owned a mangled water bottle that she took everywhere - it was dented and scarred and represented the struggles that she had gone through and because of that she became attached to it. Her feet were always bare because she wanted to feel the earth beneath her. She loved touch, sound, smells... she loved to feel everything and wanting to share the experience with others because it was so 'amazing.' She was passionate about finding meaning. She was always looking for something; something she couldn't understand or define. She was expressive though dance and poetry and wasn't afraid of making herself vulnerable. She was a caring person, an inspiration and spirit that transcended beyond this world.
I've experienced enough death of loved ones to accept it as a reality of life. Though it's now 4AM on Christmas and I can't stop thinking about her. I tried to help her younger sister gather pictures realizing that there are 1000 posted on facebook... once again, tech.
I understand now that Christine was searching for freedom... which I believe she has found.