I came with a few friends to his wake this evening. His best friend since college flew in from another country and saw us. He must be surprised to see us as we have not all seen each other since a decade, or even more. But he easily expressed to us his emotions towards this great loss. He painted a different picture of the departed friend. He appeared to be a confident person in college, but it seems he was an emotionally wanting person, like most of us. No one knew, but his best friend. But when the best friend left to pursue greener pastures in another country, he got lost and succumbed to the pressures of emotional weakness. Everyone was in shock. Little knew he had grave problems.
Lately I have been mentally rewinding a line in the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ uttered by Susan Sarandon’s character. She said ‘the reason we get a partner is that everyone needs someone to witness his/her life’. Figuratively the partner is a spouse, but I believe for people like me who have not yet been lucky to find their perfect half, family and friends easily fill in the job. Somehow if a person pursues an undertaking to better his social status, he is not only doing it for himself but also for the people around him/her to notice, so his/her life would matter. I admit to be an emotionally wanting person, but somehow I am thankful to the people around me for noticing that I do, as an individual, matter. My existence would not go unnoticed, at least by my family and friends. I am very much thankful for that. I do have personal problems but somehow the thought of my noticed and appreciated existence makes me undoubtedly want to go on with life.
I am deeply saddened by my departed friend. His life and achievements do matter. He has coveted academic degrees and experiences. He has a dissertation filed in a library of a major academic institution. But even with this, his best friend said he himself still thought his own existence did not matter. We kept thinking if only we sooner re-established contacts, maybe he could have felt he mattered more. It is too late for him to feel that now. I hate to have only known him more after his death. It would be a great shame if his academic achievement and his existence would continue on unwitnessed.