Letter from Steve Yi to the Segals

February 2,1999

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Segal,

I'm sorry to be writing you an e-mail instead of a proper letter, but in this day and age, I'm afraid that I've nearly forgotten how to write anything by hand. I'm also sorry to be getting in touch with you so long after everything that has happened.

I just wanted to let you know how much I think of the both of you and Anton everyday. While the pain of having Anton taken from my life has receded a bit, the dull emptiness that has invaded me is in many ways much worse than what I was feeling immediately after Anton's death. A part of me wants the pain to be fresh so I can remember everything about him that much more vividly. But as I write this I also know that even though I feel that so much has been taken from me, your sense of loss and grief must be much, much greater. Please know that everyday my thoughts are with you and will always be with you.

I can't express to you adequately now nor was I able to when we were together in San Francisco how much I loved Anton and what he meant to me. Of all my closest friends, there was no one I would rather have spent any given moment with than him. When thing were clicking between us, there was no one who made me feel as special and alive as he. He saw me and understood me like no one else, and I often find myself wondering when again I'll laugh the way I laughed with him and when again I will treasure someone's company and companionship as much as I treasured his. I simply can't imagine anyone filling the void that he left in my heart and soul when he died.

Many people talk about the innumerable Anton stories that typified his full life, but for me I just remember and miss the most my everyday experiences with him. I remember a day we spent walking around San Francisco when we slipped into the Armani store to look at ties and having him tell me about your friend who owns the Custom Shop and how even though you (Mr. Segal) had dressed in your best outfit the only thing he noticed was that you had tied your tie in a half-Windsor knot instead of the proper full-Windsor. I also remember how we used to go to bed in our junior year listening to Coltrane on his beloved stereo with our bedroom doors open so we could talk until we fell asleep. Countless memories like these come together to form my vision of who Anton was and what he meant to me and others.

In addition to those specific memories, I also remember Anton for being a true friend. Someone who altered his plans to come first to Egypt so that we could travel together (and waiting there for a week as I took my sweet time getting there) and someone who came to San Francisco to spend with me my last carefree summer. I just hope that I was as good of a friend to him as he was to me and provided him with even half the joy he provided me.

I would like to think that Anton would have asked me to do what I could for both of you had he known he was going to pass away when he did. I hope that you will never hesitate to get in touch with me if you need anything or just want to get in touch for the sake of staying in touch. Please know that I will always stand ready to become a part of your life and welcome you into my life when you both feel ready. Until then, my heart and my thoughts are always with you both and your family.

With much love,
Steve Yi
syi@post.harvard.edu