A year ago I found out that one of my dearest friends in the world was dying; less than two weeks later he was dead. As soon as I was able to, I wrote about that and posted it here. I told nobody that I had done that; some of my friends found it. It was an entry in a notebook, written to help me make my way through very profound sadness.
Right around a year to the day that I found out that he was dying, people whom I do not know came to that post and read it. The coincidence was eerie and I put my friend's name into a google search to see if that is what brought strangers to my post. And up it came.
Someone in Tucuman, Argentina, someone in Thessaloniki, has Worasak Jongthirawong in their minds, as he has been on mine. Strangers mourn together on a day that will always presage loss for us.
And yet, I think of Sak--his eyebrows quirked, his sardonic smile--as he said to me once, "You don't have to think of it that way." I think he's saying it now, and I know I don't have to. We don't, all of us who love him and always will.
Gratitude, not grief, is what I hope to learn to feel in the first fifteen days of January--gratitude for a friend who is loved all over the world. In places that he never went, Sak lives on in the hearts and memories of his friends.