I couldn't believe it. There I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed when I stumbled upon a status update that read, "RIP Paul Walker." I initially thought that perhaps someone wanted to pull off an insensitive prank but it was only a matter of seconds before my feed was flooded with identical statuses. Before I know it, his name consumed all of my social networks as well as every single entertainment news outlets. For five minutes, I sat there staring at my laptop monitor in disbelief. Heartbroken. Shocked. Dismayed. It was just one of those moments that completely took me by surprise. I don't know who Paul was for you, but for me, he was a reminiscent of my childhood. The protagonist to my favorite movie franchise, the beginning of my Yahoo email password, and for the longest time, the man underneath my 'Who I'd Like to Meet' section of my Myspace page. Though I was never lucky enough to meet him in person, I've had nothing but love and adoration for the man. While he was talented and insanely beautiful, I admired him greatly for his humbleness. It takes an incredible human being to avoid every single unwanted scandal and tabloid magazine cover. You would never find any negative press written about Paul and that's just a small testament to his character. Anyone who is a part of this lucrative industry will tell you that you won't come across a person like that very often.
Following the news of his death, one of my best friends texted me and said, "I've heard." She knew very well of the role he played not just in movies, but also in my life. With that, I responded, "Yeah. I can't believe it." And for a whole year, I refused to believe it. Much like other coping mechanisms, denial seemingly felt like the best option. It was easier to pretend that nothing has ever happened only to be reminded on his one year death anniversary that he was no longer with us. Isn't it crazy? It has been exactly a year since that tragic accident that took away one of Hollywood's most genuine, charismatic talents. Not only that, Meadow lost a father. Vin Diesel lost a brother. And as for the rest of us, we all lost a hero.
The only bright side that I could reap from such unforeseen circumstance is that it reminded me of a small lesson that I needed to take with me everywhere I go-- that is to always appreciate life and to simply make each and every single day count.
Rest in peace, Paul. Thank you for blessing the world with your smile and talent. Thank you for reminding us that the only thing that matters is that the people we love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.