The day I lost Cho was one of the days I’d never forget. Cho is a dear friend of mine, a sister from another mister, and someone I could truly rely on. Anytime. Losing a friend like her was an unbearable event that I had to deal with over the past years.
” Cathy, let’s call”
Asha said in the middle of the day while I was online working.
Yes, wait please. But, is it emergency? I asked
Yes, she said.
My heart thumped.
Then we had a very quick call.
” Cho is in the hospital”
My body got weakened.
The next thing I knew, Cho was bedridden in the hospital, battling for her life. I was in Hanoi. It was past 12 noon when the call happened. Later in the afternoon, I had to go to school, a Private Kindergarten, for my part-time job as an English Teacher.
I came early to school and grabbed a hot cup of coffee. It’s spring. It was a wee cold. But I didn’t feel any coldness against my body. Instead, my mind was full of thoughts about Cho. I didn’t even want to think that I was going to lose a friend, please not Cho.
In my mind, I was already begging God not to take her away
Meanwhile, Asha said there’s a chance she’d survive. Although she could barely open her eyes, we believed she’s a fighter. And that’s what we’re holding on to. In fact, she had the best doctors in town. She would live. I was full of hopes. Still, I couldn’t get the scary thought out of my mind.
I tried to carry on with my tasks despite my heart and mind wobbly, not knowing what would happen next. Losing a friend like Cho was a scary thought I never imagined.
After my class, I received another text from Asha.
” Cho is gone”
I couldn’t believe what I’ve just read! Tears streamed on my face; I pleaded with Asha to tell me the truth. I was screaming in pain and couldn’t accept the fact that she’s just passed away. No way!
But as much as Asha wanted to say otherwise, she’s also massively devastated. We were grieving from losing a friend we never thought would happen.
That same day, I came back to my apartment feeling lifeless. I brought a bottle of wine to at least ease the agony. The pain in my heart was unbearable. Why her? How could I lose a friend so dear to me? The day that I lost her was the day I was dreading to arrive.
Inevitably, myriads of questions waved into my mind.
Soon, I talked to my husband (on Skype) about what just happened. I felt his instant compassion towards what just happened to my friend. He consoled me throughout. Hence, he helped me book a flight back to the Philippines. Cho’s going to have a funeral in her hometown. She lived in Manila. So my flight was From Hanoi-Manila-Bacolod.
But a few days and nights before going to see her one last time, I couldn’t sleep. Even if I did, I’d wake up every 2-3 hours and found myself uneasy, weeping. She’s occupying my entire brain, my dreams, my thoughts, and everything in me. Consequently, I discerned like I saw Cho in all the corners of my bedroom.
On the other hand, my husband had been my best armor. He’d attend to me on Skype and endlessly comforting me. Then he’d constantly try his might to put me back to sleep.
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The day had come when I met her again. But this time, on a casket, I wish I didn’t get to see her lying on, and I never imagined losing a dear friend like her
Despite that Cho never informed us about her illness, I immensely understood and respected her decision of not expressing about it. I’ve known her that she’s a private person who doesn’t broadcast any thing that’s been happening in her life, which is why I never questioned the fact that she hid from me, or us.
A few hours after I landed in Manila, I took another flight to Bacolod. Her hometown. Her cousin and also a good friend picked me up. We embraced each other tight. After taking a short rest in their humble home, we proceeded to Cho’s funeral.
My tears ran down my cheeks even before I got close to her. I whispered how much I loved and missed her. She’s wearing a beautiful traditional dress, and her lips are red. Even if she’s lying there, I knew she’s peaceful and happy. My heartfelt lighter, so much different from when I heard she’s out of sorts in the hospital.
Soon, we sent her to her final destination. We all cried our eyes and hearted out. I couldn’t conclude that I just waved farewell to someone so precious to me. But at the same time, losing a friend was something I was trying to deny; instead, I just believed that she just went somewhere far and we’re going to meet again, anyway, though it may take time.
Despite that, my heart was broken, and my soul was swollen by her unexpected departure,; I was happy I had the opportunity to see her one last time and kiss her goodbye. but I know, there were no goodbyes. Only see you later.
Cho taught me valuable life lessons. She made me see the silver lining, taught me to live the life I wanted, and always follow my heart.
Cho was the best picture of a humble person. Despite having everything she wanted in life, she remained humble. I never saw her bragged about how much she’s achieved, how great she’s possessed, whether materials or achievement.
She was the one who showed me how to live the life I wanted and never fail to see the silver lining of hardships. She herself had her fair share; thus, she willingly dished out those priceless life lessons with me. She’s more than generous in terms of giving incredible advice that she herself personally followed.
Follow your heart. That’s what she constantly babbled because if you don’t, maybe you’d never find happiness. And she’d constantly checked up on me. If I were feeling alright, how I was doing if I needed to talk about something, and everything in between.
And the best thing about her, even though she’s years younger than me, she’s full of wisdom I could thoroughly depend on. Cho’s character is ingrained in me.
Losing a friend like Cho was like losing in life partly.
Moreover, she’s a great excellent dance, a sexy model, a business woman. She’s passionate about things that gave her joy.
That said, because she’s a model, she’s got some good friends abroad. Before moving back to Bangkok the second time, we’ve had our shared adventures we wanted to do together. She said we’d go to New York together and do some photoshoots. I happily agreed. I was looking forward to that event, not knowing that that was the last day we’ve got to share our heart’s desires.
She’s taken away from me before we set out on our ventures. Nonetheless, if I could go to New York one day, I’d definitely dedicate this trip to her.
Fast forward to today, I knew I’ve moved on from the day I lost a precious friend
The day I lost her was the moment I wished I didn’t. It’s a battle for me that I had to win. She’s too precious. I couldn’t imagine life without her. But in life, we have to move on. We couldn’t let things wear us down. it’s okay to cry, grieve, but eventually, live the life. Just like how she wanted me to live my life.
Therefore, I moved on. But despite accepting the fact that the dear Lord had taken her away from me, I still miss her every day. Asha and I talk and reminisce the beautiful crazy memories we’ve had shared with Cho. The days that Cho narrated us some insane tales that made us burst out laughing and cracked our bellies. The moments she was very serious when she wanted us to listen to her and apply what she’s been proclaiming. Asha and I would murmur, but she’d instead of getting pissed, she’d embraced us and always said, I love you.
Ultimately, there are still endless of things I’d like to do with her. She hasn’t even met my husband in person!
Losing a friend like Cho was an event in my life I’d never forget, but her memories I will treasure forever. Life indeed is borrowed, and one day, that priceless git will be taken away from you.
I’ve learned plenty of worthwhile but painful life lessons, not only from the day I lost her but also the day I lost a friend so darling to me.
On the other hand, Hirano, Asha and I were people one of the few people who sobbed a great deal but had finally accepted the fate. We love her truly.
On a personal note
Cho and I have been friends for almost 8 years now, and even though she’s not physically present anymore, she’s in my heart forever. She’s my strength, and I thanked her for everything she’s done and taught me. She’ll always have a part of me. t Will never be forgotten but forever cherished.