Tell Your Loved Ones

The sudden death of a friend’s father this past week had us all reeling – on top of an already-difficult 2016, this really hurt.

Annie and I made our way to the funeral home this morning and stood in the crowded overflow room. The service was packed to the brim with Taiwanese aunties and uncles I’d have expected to bump into church back when I was a kid.

Though I only understood about a third of what was being said, I could sense the love in the room – the collective mourning of a community that had stuck together for decades and coming to grips with a loss of their own.

I couldn’t help but thing that this friend’s father was my own – he was a Taiwanese man, born to a plain existence in Taiwan but immigrated to the US for graduate school in search of a better life. His story of finding centering and solace in his friendships in the Bay Area is a story that many of our own families can tell.

We stood outside the burial plot, wind and rain whipping against our faces, and watched him be lowered into the ground. Shivering, I craved beef broth, the kind boiled sweet-hot with ox tail and tendon and overflowing with spices and cilantro.

I couldn’t help but think imagine I would be here with my own dad one day. For a second, I panicked, feeling like I needed to make a phone call, waiting past the dial tone to hear his voice on the line.

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