Still With Us
(Williamstown, Massachusetts - 16 October, 2017) In the year-long wake of Ye Ye’s passing, I still find it difficult to reflect on my grandfather as someone who is no longer physically present. My memories of him are as vivid as ever, and the details of these memories are so clear that, despite my grief, I struggle to reconcile with the fact that he is truly gone. That’s why I used the term “physically present”-- because I am more convinced than ever that he still exists in other forms.
So much of him lives on, and that’s what has helped me come to terms with his death. If everyone must pass, then I cannot, in good conscience, allow that passing to mask the true value of a person’s life. If everyone must pass, then a person’s life value exceeds physical being. Therefore, I am doing Ye Ye a disservice if I believe that he is gone and limit his influence to his physical body; I am doing him a disservice if I do not hold his values and legacy to the highest accord and to a standard that I must continue to try and embody every day.
Ye Ye’s legacy is so vibrant that he is not gone; I hear him in my classrooms, in classical music, in deep coughs, in my gratitude towards my education and my family, and most of all, in my love for my grandmother, who has suffered an incredible amount since his passing. He is with us every day, and in the year that has passed, I am still so grateful and so proud to continue to be his granddaughter.