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One year in. From Mary to Derek

Hi Friend, It’s been almost a year since you’ve been gone. A lot has changed. You can’t find me at CVT in unit 1302 baking up a batch of s’mores cookies or cooking up some spaghetti bolognese. Shuhan moved to Boston for residency. People say that time heals all wounds. I’m not certain. As time passes, I think of you less, yet I think of you more. I wonder about you regularly. Mostly, I hope that you are alive and well; I hope that you are in Mexico or Costa Rica surfing or mountain manning it on the PCT. Where ever you are, where ever you may be, where ever you may go, as much as I miss you and wish you were here, I hope you have found the peace that you need. Until the day that your dead body shows up, I’m going to keep sending you prayers, thoughts and good juju and good karma. You will remain in my memory the most kind and empathetic person- there are so many times that you’ve shown me how to be more. Thank you for being my friend. Love you Derek P.S. These are little random bits that I want to tell you about if you’re out there reading this. I’ve been on one car camping trip since you left. It was a disaster. First of all it was in Wisconsin. Second of all, a storm blew through and Shuhan broke his arm and needed a staple on his head. Shuhan told me to tourniquet his head wound and I was super confused- was I supposed to tourniquet his neck? That didn’t make sense. I’m missing all the crazy shenanigans on the camping trips- I’m definitely sad we haven’t had any more campfire cooking. Shuhan and I went to Nepal…

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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…

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Happy Birthday Derek

Derek, Happy birthday! Wherever you are, and however you may be today, you’re loved by your friends and family. We miss you, and we love you dearly. I’m sitting here studying for an exam, drinking coffee and watching life go by. Every day these little moments that make me remember just how much I miss you. Every good thing that happens to me makes me think about how you should have been here, because you would have been happy for me. For every bit of bad news or setback that I get in life, I remember how comfortable I felt sharing that with you too. Driving in a car. Oh, that’s the toughest. I used to have conversations with myself, but I now find that I’m actually more comfortable thinking about all my faults and vulnerabilities when you’re part of my inner monologue, more so than when I talk to myself. Go figure. When I hop on a flight, I think about your seat next to me. Where would you have slept when you stayed in San Francisco? Did you want to go to the moon festival in Tibet? How about Chile? Aconcagua? The TcDS machine still hasn’t been built, but I’ll get around to it. Mary is awesome at planning our interviews, isn’t she? Regardless of what any future developments may be, the things I’ll always remember about you will always stay the same. I don’t know where you are, who does? But I know that I still think about you every day. You were always an incredible source of strength and intelligence, but your friendships were truly special. I’m a better person because of you. We’re all better people because of you. To all his friends and family, I encourage you to share  any fond memories of Derek,…

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