Last night, we sang in chorus, dressed in black or white we stood in rows and bowed our heads in prayer; we promised to have your legacy live through each and every one of us whom you’ve influenced in one way or another as the pastor lead the service. We penned down words of gratitude towards your existence that we wished we could have told you in person. We put our arms around one another in consolation for the deep sense of loss that we were crying for.
Tonight, a day after attending the service, I spent hours reading your page on which you shared your thoughts and feelings. I scrolled through your Facebook Feed and read the messages others had penned down in dear memory of you. It reminds me of the colourful cards lain out on the table at the service, each one filled with crammed lines of thanks and expressions of love from others whom you mean so much to. I wish I could tell you about the power of influence that you had in your family, amongst your friends and beyond – how much we loved you so so dearly and the inspiration you’ve brought to those who have had the privilege of crossing paths with you. The pain we experience from your departure is born from our knowledge that the powerful influence you had as the beautiful being you were was to be so short-lived.
In the last visible post, you wrote that it was “not that (our) love isn’t enough, but (you) – (you’re) not enough”. It breaks my heart to think that our society is one that fails to validate a person for inherently just being. We let the structures control us and we forget to remember that we are more than our achievements, more than just the sum of what our portfolio and testimonials say. We let the social pressure control us and feel unworthy of our negative emotions because of our relative privilege (They tell us, “Don’t be ungrateful, you’re already so lucky.”, as if invalidating the unhappiness we experience). And if I ever got to read this in time, I would’ve told you you are as enough as you ever needed to be, because we all have inherent worth in the lives that we lead and in the people that we are. You were more than enough for all of us and I thank you on behalf of all your dearest friends and family whom you brought immense joy and life to. You will always remain the gem that you were in our hearts. Always.
The only promise we can keep to you now is to not be confused. In your last visible post, you wrote that “if (you) were to leave the only thing (you) would possibly regret is the confusion (you) leave behind for the people who love (you), and the people (you) love.” It heartens me to remember that we had your authentic, genuine kindness in our midst, a quality immensely rare in our lives that pass us by so fleetingly. I will make sense of your choice as one that you made to find peace and one that you made to ‘change the world’ in your own, special means. If I ever could, I would tell you that you did it. I’d say “Tiffany, you taught us all love and kindness and even in your last days you reminded us to forgive ourselves. In that way, you did it, you changed the world,” because these lessons and important values you stood for will continue to live through us and the influence you’ve had in our lives will be the legacy that we promise to uphold.
Thank you for your being, Tiffany. In dearest memory of you, I promise to, (in your words) “keep loving others”.