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The mountain top of Tản Viên.

On Tuesday July 21, 2020 during a hot Southeast Asian summer, I received the fateful text we’d all been preparing for since a cold February winter. Best friend and charismatic composer Vũ Nhật Tân, aged 49, had at 21h04 finally released his body and passed on to his next life after a long and difficult battle with cancer.

Today, Wednesday October 28, 2020 is the 100th Day since Tân’s death and an auspicious day for remembering the departed. Called “Tốt Khốc” or “The Last Cry” the 100th Day is part of a series of Vietnamese Buddhist rituals that have been strictly observed. Indeed, there are a group of Buddhist monks meditating on his spirit daily for the next decade preparing Vũ Nhật Tân for a more positive reincarnation.

For eight months Jan and I were truly on the other side of the world.