Matthew Christian Bancod, 8/25/1986 - 4/23/2012
April 23, 2012 marked the end of a life that belonged to someone who was a beloved friend, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and son. Everyone who came to know him gathered at his home in Ontario, grieving together and swapping stories of good times and nostalgic childhood memories. Although I wasn't close to him, nor were we really friends, it's still very shocking and sad to bear witness the passing of a life so young.
Thinking back, we didn't really get to know each other beyond the surface, but last night made me realize that all those differences in opinion and such just doesn't matter one bit in the grander scheme of things. I still remember the night I first met him two years ago in March at a friend's party, and all the times we shared afterwards. They weren't many in number, but every soirée we happened to be at together was fun. Every bar outing, every kickback. I remember one time we were out drinking in Little Tokyo and randomly drove all the way out to a mutual friend's house in Anaheim because we all didn't want the night to end. And the time we went to Big Bear last year, how he was taking very candid, up-in-your-face pictures of everyone in the cabin, disorienting everyone with the obnoxious flash. And how he drank that deadly mixture of alcohol when he lost a game of King's Cup. And the pool party/BBQ he had at his house for Independence Day, last year. And how he was always down for anything. As I've said before, we weren't close, but we've shared a number of fun memories.
Seeing so many of his friends coming together to celebrate his life and the ways he touched each and every one of them made me feel out of place and recognize the rash decision I made last August (totally out of pent up anger) that now proved itself to be somewhat of a hindrance between him and I. It was a moment of pure immaturity, channeling my anger out like that on a medium so public. Would it be silly of me to admit I genuinely thought that it would never reach the eyes of the ones I was ranting about? And even afterwards, I was so adamant in my perception of him that I didn't even stop to remind myself that everyone has their faults. Everyone. It's wrong of me to hold it against them and blind myself to the good they represent as well.
It's bittersweet how it takes the death of a loved one to bring friends and family together. It's also bittersweet how it takes the death of someone you used to share so much laughter with for you to realize just how much unnecessary shit you've held against them out of your own bitterness and resentment.
So, here's to you, Matt. You've probably noticed how I couldn't even bring myself to hug your family and offer them my condolences. Truth is, I felt unworthy of that, given the (now silly) circumstances between the both of us, and I felt like an intruder in a place that was so full of intimacy. I'm filled with regret and shame and guilt regarding my actions and I resent the fact that I was too prideful to tell you this while you were alive. How immensely petty of me, how stupid, how embarrassing, how self-righteous. I was wrong to have done what I did and I was even more wrong to have justified it with my girlish, begrudging bitterness over an issue that didn't even matter anymore.
I know it's overdue, but I offer you my deepest apologies. My deepest, deepest apologies for my short-sighted, rash behavior. I'm truly ashamed. This is me attempting to make it up to you by showing everyone we know just how much of a big bitch I am. It may not be enough, but it's all I can think of right now.
Here's to you, Matt. Here's to you, to the life you lived, to the lives you touched, and to the hearts that you'll reside in. You may have left this earth a little too early, but you're immortal to the ones that love you.