Here is the e-mail, I've changed nothing:
I met my beloved Italian, Paolo, in London last July. I am of Asian background from Melbourne, Australia and he from Pramaggiore, a small town near Venice. We had both been living in London for a year, and were both at this networking event that I was dragged along to. It was a warm summer evening, and there were loads of people in the venue, so throughout the night I kept moving to try to stand underneath the aircon. In doing so I accidentally bumped into someone, I turned around to apologise and there was Paolo. I was instantly attracted to him, he was very cute and had the most adorable smile. We started talking and he ended up hanging with me and my friends the whole night. We parted ways in the morning and while I felt the spark I didn’t think I’d see him again as we didn’t exchange any details. But as it turned out my friends gave him my insta and he DM’ed me that day. We began to talk everyday and tried to make plans to see each other but I was just about to go on a series of travels that summer and he had a busy work schedule so we didn’t up having our first date (and first kiss) until three months later. Things were going slow but really good, for the first time in my very single life I felt I actually wanted to be with someone. We made plans to travel together in the new year, he even invited me to go back to Italy with him for Christmas, to which I had to decline because I thought it was a bit soon to meet his parents (little did I realise I’d be meeting them the following month). I was excited to see him when he returned to London, we had plans to spend New Years Eve together. But as December 30th rolled by and I still hadn’t heard from him I began to worry. Something compelled me to check his social media (I had not stalked his Facebook before that night despite being connected) and sure enough, someone had posted a condolence on his page. I didn’t want to believe it, so again, something compelled me to Google his name and all these Italian articles popped up to confirm what I had dreaded. He had passed away in his sleep two weeks prior, soon after we last spoke. I remember staying up the whole night, just bawling my eyes out. My heart was shattered into a million pieces, I think a part of me died that night too. Paolo and I didn’t end up ringing in 2020 together, instead I spent New Years Day flying to Italy for his funeral. To this day I think he wanted me to find out when I did so I could be there, because had I waited longer to check I would’ve missed my chance to say goodbye. The grief has been incomprehensible and overwhelming, I cried every day for four months. I still miss him all the time, and sometimes I could feel his presence, hugging me from behind like the way he used to. It will be six months since his death, and only now am I slowly starting to feel less sad. Our love story had only begun, only for it to end so unexpectedly and abruptly. We didn’t even get the chance to take a nice photo together. He lives now only in my memories (I think I quoted that from Titanic). I have always wondered why fate had brought Paolo into my life and then took him away.