He died in a motorbike accident a couple of months ago.
The last time I saw him was at the airport when he came to say goodbye.
And then the next time I saw him again was in a news post on Facebook that had a dead body covered with some sort of blanket on it and his picture above it that showed his smiling face.
I don't even know how old he was.
I think he was in his fifties.
Back then he told me he had money problems.
He always had money problems.
That's why his wife divorced him a couple of years ago.
That's why he never had kids.
Because he couldn't provide for a family.
He told me he got very sad when his wife left him. And unhappy.
Well, he never really said that.
But sometimes words don't have to be spoken out loud.
So he did what every sane person would do that is having a hard time.
He went out on the streets of his home town and asked people about happiness.
About the things that make them happy.
What their happiest moments were in life.
Where happiness comes from.
And how to be happy.
He did it for more than ten years, on and off.
Sometimes even until late at night.
Sometimes he rode his motorbike home at 3am in the morning.
And sometimes he had to sleep on the streets because he lived far away from the city center.
I think he asked people about happiness because he wanted to find his own happiness once again.
I don't know if he ever realized this...
But by asking people about happiness and about their stories he made them happy.
Even if it was just for a tiny moment.
He allowed people to sort of relive some of their most magical and happiest moments in life.
The moments that made them cry out of joy.
The moments we tend to forget when we're busy rushing through life, from one hit to the next.
He gave people a voice by letting them share their stories with a complete stranger.
I don't know if he ever found happiness again.
Maybe he did.
Maybe he didn't.
When we first met he asked me where happiness came from and how to be happy.
Back then I wrote “you” on a piece of paper.
What I meant back then was that happiness comes from within.
But maybe I also unconsciously wanted to tell him that happiness comes from him...
I don't know.
And then he took a picture of me holding the note I wrote that said "you".
And now he's dead and I'm alive...
Most of the time there's no happy end in life.
Most of the time there's just trying to be happy.
And being grateful for being alive.
Every single day.
As much and as often as you can.
There really is no other way...
I hope you were happy when you closed your eyes for the very last time.
I really do...