May Love Be Victorious

This Monday (May 16, 2016) was a day of darkness for everyone as we began to mourn, since we all slowly started to receive word that one of the most loving, most intelligent, most caring individuals left this beautiful (but corrupt) world this past weekend.

I dedicate this tribute to one of my best friends, who I pray is in a better place now.

“Victorious” I will call you.

We met at MJHS, when I was in eighth grade and you were in ninth. I cannot pin point the exact first encounter we had, but I do remember you coming up to me with another individual, telling me you guys were cousins! I believed it for the longest time ever.

Throughout the years, our friendship grew to be stronger and stronger. I will always remember the time in my life where you helped pull me out of the darkness. It was tenth grade – I had just come out of a bad break up. For some reason, I was so drawn to you and I felt compelled to share my side of the story. You listened to me from day one. You saw how broken I was in that specific period, and all you cared about was how you could make me happy and smile each and every time you encountered me. That summer you went away for a high school gifted program at Brown University, and even then, though you were far, you made sure to show love by video chatting with me every day when I felt lonely.

It was you who brightened up my world always. It was you who is counted among and introduced me to some of the best people in my life. It was you who acted as both salt and light to us all.

“Victorious” Victor Chang,

We all miss you more than you can even imagine. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it saddens us so much that you left the world in the way that you did. I wish I was able to say bye to you; I wish I was able to reach out my hand further, and to maybe prevent you from leaving us. I am still confused and I am still wondering what was going through your head at that exact moment; how it happened, why it happened. But, I think I may have a sense of it all. A part of me feels like it was my fault; that I could have done so much more to make you feel loved. Deep down, though, I know that it was not my fault (or anyone else’s for that matter), I just wish I could have been there for you in the way that you needed me to be there for you. I wish I could have cared for you in the way you always cared for the people in your life. Your father passed away a couple of years ago, and I remember you reaching out to a few of us for prayers. In a sense, you were desperate, because you were so scared and so vulnerable. You confided in us and you felt drawn to us. Unfortunately (may he rest in peace), your father left this world, and I know that hit you hard.

I cannot even remember the last time we actually spent one on one time with each other – but, let us not dwell in the negatives, let us delight in the positives. Let us remember you by who you were – you were the definition of love. You knew how to love all of the people around you, even if you didn’t know how to love yourself fully. That is the legacy you will leave behind, that is how we will always remember you. I wish you knew (and I wish we showed you) how much you meant to us while you were still here, but there is no point in looking to the past. May God soften our hearts and remind us all of how much you mean to us, and vice versa. It is crazy how God is using your passing to bring us altogether, right here, right now. Victor, I am hopeful that you are looking down on us smiling. Your kindness, your love, your laughter – everything about you – will always be engraved in our hearts.

To your family,

I pray for each and every one of you. I pray that God will shine His of rays of love upon you all. I can’t even imagine how much pain you are going through right now; how vulnerable you must feel. But, what I do know is how great our God is and how He uses these times of struggles to make us stronger. Though you are all hurting, I pray that God will wrap each and every one of you in His arms and that He will guide you through this time of sorrow. I pray that you will be able to look to Him in every way. Victor was and is the definition of love. He brought his friends together, and I believe that he brought you, his family, together as well. May we all remember him and delight in who he was as a child of God.

To everyone (including myself),

May God use this time of suffering to have us reflect on how we treat those around us. May God use Victor’s legacy as a living testimony to continuously teach us what it means to love and be loved. I pray that though we are all grieving, that we remember Victor always, and that we spread joy to each and every individual in our own lives. May we be delighted that he is at rest.

I know that Victorious cared so much about his friends, because he wrote a letter and haiku about us all! Here is what he wrote about me years ago in high school. Through these words, may you see how he exerted love. See below:

Day 6 – A friend you respect most

Brettany. There’s something about someone really loving life that is admirable. Seeing her radiant personality coupled with her boundless energy almost never fails to bring smiles to people’s faces. Not only that, but she makes use of the talents she’s been blessed with, and lives in a way to return all the thanks to God. While there are many friends who I thought of when the word “respect” came to mind, all the successes and accomplishments of those others couldn’t trump a life filled with love and happiness.

Haiku #325: Mindfully
Time spent together
Is time you should cherish; use
Time alone to think.”

I am currently sobbing because I can’t believe you ever saw me in that light at such a young age. I will keep these words and this haiku with me always to be reminded of you. You loved each and every one of your friends and family to death. I’m so sorry if you ever felt that it was not reciprocated.

Also, Victor was one of the wisest individuals I ever came to know. This is evident through his outlook of life, which can be remembered by the words he spoke and by his writing. An example taken from his Tumblr can be found here:

January 30th 2013: I’m thankful that things for work are going well without me trying to do much about it – less stressed; feel blessed.”

I love you, Victor, we all do. You touched ALL of our lives in the most positive way. I believe that we can be at peace with this, but I also know that we are mourning because we miss you, and because we wish we still had you to continue this journey of life with. But, I know that our God has His reasons for everything. As said before, I can already see Him using this moment of your passing to bring all of your loved ones together. So thank you. Thank you for always seeing the good in people, thank you for always teaching us how to love.

“Victorious” Victor Chang, may you rest in Paradise.

2/29/92 – 5/15/16

Your sister in Christ,
Brettany

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT)

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