Pretty safe to say that 2016 was a beast. I was pretty good at the end of 2016. On Christmas I marveled at the fact that while I everyone mourned loved ones and celebrities, no particular loss hit me hard. Then I got the news that George Michael died. Talk about the wind taken out of my sails. That one did me in. I’ve been a George Michael fan since his Faith album, but unlike a lot of other people, I didn’t just dig Faith, I dug his other albums as well. I felt like a friend died. It wasn’t quite up there with Michael Jackson for me, but it stung way more than Prince.
2017 started out pretty fair. I think most of us were just glad to be free of the heavy energy of losing our favorite artists in 2016. But as time went on, it slowly crept in. You know the regular, great-aunt here, grandpa there. Sometime in February, I recall a former co-worker talking about much she was hurting because her brother had just died. A few short weeks later, Pete was gone. Two weeks after Pete, a friend lost his cousin. In the midst of all of that, another Facebook friend had to bury 2 friends within a week of one another. It started to get heavy. I recall that in one of my many posts grieving Pete, my friend Kim commented that she’d have a big hug whenever she saw me again.
I’m currently visiting friends and family in Washington D.C., but right before I was set to leave, I watched the news and heard something about an Asian woman being shot and killed on Peachtree. Shortly thereafter, Kim (an Asian) posted that her dear sister, Trinh, had passed. I saw the correlation, but tried hard not to imagine that it was Kim’s sister that was killed so horribly. But sure enough, it was true. As time went on, the news grew bigger. By the time I arrived in D.C., my best friend told me that she’d heard about the killing on the local news here. There was interest in what made the killer pick that particular woman.
Since then, Kim and her family have tried to remain positive, celebrating Trinh’s life and sharing positive memories of her. There was even some conspiracy theory saying that Trinh was in the process of trying to bring federal charges regarding the bridge collapse. It stated that she had just left the federal courthouse after filing papers. I’d heard and read the theory before and I remained silent. I try not comment on things I'm unsure of. But then I thought about it. I’d been to Trinh’s condo twice with Kim before. Trinh was killed at 7:40 a.m., while courthouses typically open at 8 or 9, so there was no way she’d just left a courthouse. Not only that, Trinh lived in and was killed in Midtown. The federal courthouse is downtown, so there was absolutely no way she’d been there filing anything. Not only that, Trinh worked for UPS, and even if she was about to file papers regarding the bridge collapse, UPS damned sure has enough lawyers on deck that taking Trinh out would only be a small dent in what UPS has on staff. So no, it’s highly unlikely that she was killed because of the bridge collapse.
I’ve known quite a few people that have gone viral and been in the news over the years. But knowing Kim and watching her and her family pour their hearts out on social media has made me particularly protective of them. I haven’t spoken to Kim since her sister died. I’m sure I’ll see her soon, but I feel like with the press and police investigators, they’ve got enough on their plates. It’s funny that I was complaining about there being no news coverage of Pete and his death, yet I’m watching a family see their departed loved one being reduced to conspiracy theory fodder. Considering the two, and the vultures that want to make Trinh’s death what it was not, it’s probably better that Pete be left to rest with those that knew him and loved him personally.