One Year in

Derek has been missing for one year now.

One year ago, friends, family, and myself spent every minute in what felt like an impossible struggle to searching for Derek. With the gracious help of local store owners and their surveillance footage, with the help of the hard working men and women in all the legal labyrinths we had to navigate, and with the hard work of all of his friends and family, we put every ounce of ourselves into finding him. One year ago there were things we could do to bring him back. But despite our best efforts we never did.

And in the past year, we’ve gone through spurts of hope, even longer periods of silence and paralyzing calm in the hope that maybe something would turn up. He never did.

I’ve always thought of how exactly I should feel. Sometimes I feel like I failed. Other days, I feel like I should have hope, because that helps me feel like Derek is still out there. Some days, I do feel like he is out there, just calmly surfing the gulf of Mexico on a tropical resort without a care in the world. Other days I think maybe that’s just foolish and naive of me to think that. Everyone might think I’m a bit of sucker, I’d tell myself. I wouldn’t want people to think that. Or, maybe I should be a bit more realistic. He wouldn’t keep us all wondering like this. We know that he was just too considerate. Who knows what the right answer is–there’s not textbook for this kind of stuff.

In the last few days leading up to this anniversary, I’ve read amazing stories of love and hope and memories of what Derek was like when he was in all of our lives. He was warm, compassionate, intelligent, loving, curious, fun, loyal and amazing, not just to me, but to so many different people. One year in, that’s all I can do now. Every day I try to remind myself to be more like Derek.

That’s all I can do now to help find Derek. There’s no footage left to be had, all the clues have dried up, and every avenue has been exhausted.  In another year, that might again still be the case. It might be that way for the rest of our lives. But this website will be here in the hope that it may someday be useful in helping find Derek. But until then, the only thing I can do, is to live every day like Derek is there. To be a bit more compassionate, to be more curious, and more loving to those around me. Maybe I’ll put a bit more priority on that trip to South America I’ve always wanted to take. That’s what Derek would have done. Or maybe I’ll go out of my way to I tell someone that that I appreciate them and give them a hug, just like Derek would have done. I can only try, in the hope that I can someday be more like him. Just like I will always try to find him and bring him home. I will always try to keep him in my life.

Thank you all for your kind messages in the past year. It means a great deal to me and everyone else involved in the search for Derek.

Shuhan

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