Today when I opened up the email account I have for this blog I found an email from “Daniel.” It’s funny because even when your friend Dan sometimes write me, I always think for a moment, it could be you. I am always eager to believe in some kind of loop hole and the thought goes through my mind so quickly “I knew you’d find a way to reach me- I knew it.” And that’s over in about one second.
Except when I opened up this email, it was from Daniel Cho. A true loophole?
But interesting nonetheless. If you have a Korean name, there are usually always quite a few other people with the same exact name. And so this Daniel Cho had come to know you because of your shared name only via the Internet. Even without ever seeing your charming smile or experiencing your loyal friendship, this man came to respect and admire you. And when he learned you had died, he wrote to me:
Hi, I just wanted to express my sadness in your husbands passing. I did not know him personally but your husband and I share the same name; Daniel Cho. I did read about him years ago when I was searching my own name on Google, just to see if there were any information on the internet about me. My initial search showed information about your husband and I read about him and his accomplishments in life. I remember thinking, ‘this other Daniel Cho is really up to great things in life’ and I could not help comparing his life to mine. Often people online have mistaken him as me and someone did post a comment on one of social media account that he really enjoyed my music. I did tell him that I was a different Daniel Cho and not your husband.
Anyways, the more I read about him the more I came to admire him, and that was that. But just today I did a search of my own name again and I read about the passing of your husband. I found myself feeling deep sadness and I just had to write to you and express my condolences. I love what you are doing to keep his memory alive for your daughter’s sake. I too have a daughter and your story really made me think about what my daughter might have to go through if I passed.
Thank you and please accept my condolences.
I write Daniel Cho back and tell him that I share his admiration of you and that I have a lot to learn from you as I figure out my new life now. Your determination, focus, and refusal to live a mediocre life.
The funny thing is, a few years back you and I were also googling our names just for fun together and I bet you came upon this man as well. I guess this is how mysticism and human connection functions in modernity…via Google. He was so right about one thing- that “other Daniel Cho [was] really up to great things in life.” Great, great things.
There is good in the world. Daniel Cho's message proves it.
Thank you for giving me hope for my precious daughters who I so often want to shelter from this world.