Goodbye, dear friend. You will be missed.

We are only halfway through the first month of the year and two good people already joined our Creator.

One of our editors succumbed to death last week. It was a health related complication and a lot of people were shocked upon hearing the sad news.

Sir Jeff was the nice guy. One of my friends, who wasn’t even particularly close to him, said he’s “a walking good vibes.”

The sudden loss of Sir Jeff was followed by another death, and a tragic one this time.

I was scrolling my Facebook account when I saw a particularly alarming post about a barrio in our town. The Facebook friend aired concerns about this place near her house that has been frequented by accidents and killings. I read it out of plain curiosity but then I reached the end of the long post and I realized it wasn’t posted just to alarm authorities. It was also seeking justice for someone I know.

I was trying to shrug it off. I checked the subject’s Facebook profile and his cousin’s. I met them when I was still serving the church as part of a youth organization.

I texted two friends and asked what happened. I was afraid to raise the wrong flag because that could be a different person anyways. But I was so bothered. I messaged the Facebook friend that wrote the post and she confirmed that she was talking about the same person.

Another friend said he would check if it’s true and returned with the details of the particularly disturbing incident that led to the sudden death.

It was confirmed. Kuya Arvin was killed.

I wasn’t very close with him but I used to hang out with him and other church servers before. He’s one of the nicest guys, people we know will agree. This guy never fails to etch a smile on my face whenever we see each other.

While thinking about what happened, all his facial expression flashed in my memory. I can still hear him say my name. I suddenly felt the need to relive those days. Had I known — and here comes the regret part — I would tell him how much his personality made church service a lot more fun for the youth.

I’m so so sad. I couldn’t help but cry. Claire, his cousin, and his family must be really devastated. I saw how much he loves his family and the people around him, his church friends, his students.

This isn’t fair but I could only hope for justice.

Kuya Arvin, I will miss you. I want to go back to our church and look for you, for signs that you are still here. Maybe I will just search for an assurance that you are okay up there. Well, of course you are. You are surrounded by the best ones now.

Watch over us, your family and loved ones, Kuya Arvin. We love you. Thank you for touching our lives.

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