A Story of Cousins

I want to share with you a loss – something that I don’t feel now, but I think the ramifications will be felt later down the road. So I had a cousin who passed away on April 7th from a motorcycle accident. He was 31 years old. This isn’t so much a venting session as it is one of reflection and memorial.

I first met him in elementary school; he was in the van where our uncle was picking me up. His family (My aunt, her husband, and their three sons) had just been sponsored into the United States and was being shuttled around to get acquainted to their new home.

Victor is his name; I remember vividly his confused face when he first saw me. Remember at this time he was probably only 10 or 11 years old, not knowing a single word of English, and for the first time seeing cousins and relatives he had only heard about.

Afterward however life took over; my parents had virtually banned visits to Victor’s family after an accident during a play time when I was in 5th grade. It was then that I did not see him or hang out with him for over 10 years.

Over a decade we didn’t hang out or meet up – for sh*tty reasons my parents only know and ones that I don’t understand. From that incident in 5th grade – 10 years old – to when I was 24 we would not see or meet up with each other. Even though our families only lived 5 minutes from each other. True, we had different lives, Victor went to a different high school and was in community college by the time I entered my first year in high school myself.

All that lost time was only finally rectified when we started hanging out when I was 24 years old.

To be honest, it was as if nothing happened during that decade of silence. Even though we never stated the fact to each other; I somehow felt that he and his younger brother had an instant connection with me; “brothers from hood” as I like to say. A connection that was never utilized or fully actualized. When I “reentered” his life, it was as if nothing had happened at all. It was as if he was always there waiting for me (figuratively of course). And for that I am forever grateful for.

Victor was the middle child and Sagittarius, and such his personality reflected that somewhat: kind, generous, overprotective, non-demanding, confrontational, overly-confident, competitive, thoughtful, parental, and courteous.


*Update: I just got back from spending some time with his friends and his younger brother and they filled me in. Apparently what happened was that he lost control of his Honda CBR and it slide along a narrow country road. His body kept on moving forward and he hit a tree root, impacting near his right groin area. From what I was told, the group that he was riding with found him approximately 10-15 seconds after he had impacted (he had sped ahead). When they toke off his helmet, his eyes were wide open and he had no pulse.

The only thing I can think is this: at least he died a quick death, and that he died doing something he loved most.

There are times where I would be thinking about him and I would realize “Shit, he’s not here anymore”. Our last conversation was actually an argument which we later reconciled. I feel that I was just getting to know him.

Funeral services and memorials are underway. I still can’t believe that he’s gone; I feel that we had so much potential as brothers, friends, and family together. But alas, life is precious. 大佬 Victor Chan, wherever you are now, I hope that despite dying a quick death, that you are in a better place now.

As a parting note, I would like to say that he loved riding his motorcycle and part of the reason why I want to spend my first (real) paycheck on becoming a motorcyclist is because of him. In no way am I letting this incident stopping me; I feel that in a way following my interest would make his contribution to my life worthwhile.

RIP My dear friend, brother, cousin, 大佬.

Nov 27, 1981 - April 7, 2013
Nov 27, 1981 – April 7, 2013

6 thoughts on “A Story of Cousins

  1. Ben and Rick – Thanks guys. So far the family is handling it as well as can be expected. Arrangements have yet to be made but I’m sure I’ll post something when it happens.

  2. Hi, My name is Anu and I had the chance of knowing Victor Chan for the past 1 month as my car driving instructor.I have taken 4 classes with him and from my interactions and conversations with him, I felt like he was my young brother. He was polite, smart, understanding, clear in his instructions, encouraging and I did not feel the pressure of high way driving as he eased the situation and I felt like I was driving with a brother in the car. He had an excellent sense of humor and goodness about him. Today, after 3 weeks of being unwell (myself and my kid) I called the driving school to ask for Victor for driving class and was told about this sudden tragedy. I am very very shocked and had to call and talk to my husband and the driving school owner about how much shocking it is. I cannot imagine how the loss would be for his family and you and his friends, if it has impacted me so much (given I only knew him for a short time). He was a wonderful person and I am so sorry about his sudden death. Praying for his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace


    1. Anu – Thanks for stopping by; it comforts me to know that Victor has touched so many people in a positive way. In a way his soul lives on in our memories. If you wish to convey something to his family feel free to do so.

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