Today I went to my friend's funeral.
He had been in coma for two months prior to his death, and on 4th of December, his life ended at 20. Since I knew about his vegetative state, when I was informed of his death, I was not as surprised as I would have been if it was a sudden one. But still, it hit me pretty hard.
Let me explain a bit about him. I met him in a circle of 国際政治経済学科, and thanks to his communicative nature, I got to become quite close to him. We went drinking a couple of times with friends and talked a lot. He is without a doubt one of the kindest, most genuine, and fair people I've had a pleasure of meeting in my life. He never judged people based on their appearace, social status, race, age, gender, creed, anything. He saw people as who they were on the inside without discriminating. I had never met anyone like him. He was what I aspired to be. He had no jealousy, hatred, shame, no bad feelings. He always listened to my broken Japanese and commented on my most boring and senseless stories with such ardor. He always texted me back even when I sometimes ignored his texts and always comforted me when I was down. He messaged me when I was having a health issue and was not really showing up to school. And luckily or unluckily, he was like that to everyone. He had the biggest heart. Meeting his father, I understood why he was the way he was. He was brought up by parents who love nature and took him to camp, and made him become involved in social activities like boy scout. He knew nothing but love and he believed in it because he felt it everyday.
His death, as real and shocking as it was, did not occurr to me as a real thing. I knew he was dead, but it was just so unreal that I could not accept it. So I did not feel sadness when I knew of his death. I was just plain confused why he did not exist on this Earth anymore, not replying to my texts, not talking to me, why his father was crying when I talked to him on the phone. It just did not seem real. Thus, I did not shed a tear on the way to the funeral and it felt like I was just going to a place to say goodbye to a friend who is on his way to eh..say an exchange program in a foreign country. I felt like I could see him again, when it was clearly impossible.
Because of his genuine personality, there were a lot of people -some familiar faces- participating in the funeral. He was so hugely admired by many to his father's surprise. They actually made us wait for more than an hour before we got to enter the room where he was laid, so I was actually sleeping while standing before.
And then the queue started to move and I got to the very room, decorated by white flowers. There was a screen showing a video of photos of him throughout the years. Somehow that could not move me to tears. I had no gush of emotions yet.
And then, I stepped farther in the room and the first thing that came to my eyes was him, dead, breathless, pale, restful, comfortable, lying lifeless in a coffin that is too small for someone so tall like him. At first I could not recognize what I was seeing with my eyes. It was this pale, human-like thing with a face familiar to me. Then my mind began to finally understand the fact that he is indeed dead, completely gone from this world. Confusion turned to realization, which turned to despair and disconsolation. A burst of emotions in my heart. A wave of something steamy and hot and sad yet angry but mostly the question of "why" exploded and suddenly my eyes started to water and tears came falling down my face and my mouth went arid. Right side of my head started ringing hard and everything faded. He was there, his face with makeup to hide his bloodlessness and scars he obtained when he was hit by a bus. But his hair looked healthy and glowing, and his body was intact without a single broken bone. He looked as if he was just sleeping and somehow I felt like he would wake up next morning and would talk to me with that cute smile. I found myself tearing through the crowd, running to his coffin, and touching his shoulder tenderly, muttering "you meant so much to me, why are you gone, i love you, please come back" over and over and over. But he was not there anymore.
I don't remember much of what happened later. But I distinctly remember what his father had said. He said, "I think my son has ended his 修行 in this world, and has left a little bit earlier than everyone else to go to a better place and he will enjoy his second life there. He will do whatever he wants to do; he might make the best English speeches, or go hunting, or climb a mountain so tall that you can't see the top of it, or drink a lot of beer, and travel to many beautiful places. I know it sounds crazy. けどそうでも思っておかないとやっていけないんです。" It completely shattered my heart and whatever was left of my heart hurt so much. I always believed there was no God or no afterlife, after death remains a pure darkness. And I always belittled religion saying it was for the weak who need help. But I understood that it is necessary when losing someone who meant so much to you.
Yuho, if you are there and reading this or listening to me, know that you meant the world to me and I dont understand why good people always have to go first while evil people remain alive. You were such an inspiration to me and I do not remember a time when you were not happy. I dont know what to do right now. Just know that you will always be in my heart and I will never say I want to die because you probably wanted to live a little bit more. I wish we could have talked more and I could have gotten to know more about you because you always talked about me and cared for me. I love you with all my broken and soiled heart. Rest in peace. 12 Dec 2017