In memory of Angelina Rubis

Perhaps the best proof of the existence of God is the beauty of a human being, and Angelina was one of those people. Her being was characterized by her unique energy, and what is a human being if not 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms arranged in a certain way? What, indeed, if not 1.2×10^27 molecules that would bring about her beautiful personality? What if not two big green eyes fond of funny smiles and hilarious facial expressions traveling throughout the universe?

It’s her spirit! Her soul is the part of Angelina that is the most real. Angelina’s spirit was characterized by a unique sense of tenderness for the world around her: she was unapologetically vegan, and she questioned everything. Although she learned to be a skilled horseback rider, I remember her being honest about her struggle upon wondering what a relationship in full harmony with our world should be. She cared about all sentient beings in ways our spirits should emulate. She was a great example of empathy to all of us.

Angelina was also incredibly adventurous and self-reliant. Truth be told, I admired her a lot. I remember that summer after freshman year when she decided she would go to New York—a city she loved—without a job and near zero money. It was scary for her, but she figured it out. Almost like a movie, whether it was by waitressing or any other side gig, she would overcome the obstacles and make friends of all stripes in her journey.

Angelina was incredibly talented and creative. She dreamed of being a film director, and in fact she was already a great film director! In 2018, I remember having a one-on-one conversation with Angelina the night after Friendsgiving in Seoul. I praised the impressive short film she had just published the week before, Sense Seoul (November, 2018), a film that splendidly highlighted her experiences that semester including a daring long bicycle trip into rural South Korea. Angelina also wrote, directed, filmed, and produced other films worthy of mention: HomeLess – a short meter film about the need of feminism on the streets (April, 2018), CHANGEMAKER: Short Film On Female Empowerment, SSMAS, India (April, 2019), and TRAPPED INSIDE | Short Film (April, 2020). 

Not only was Angelina an inspiring artist, but she also was a very encouraging creator. I remember how she motivated me to keep working on my educational app for young kids: “José, of course that’s much better than an internship! Keep it up!” I published the app the next summer, and for her enthusiastic words of encouragement I am ever grateful.

A mystery in the strict theological sense is that which can never be known unless revealed by God. My appreciation of the world tells me that humans are meant for the most perfect of all happinesses. I don’t know why there is suffering and death in the world; faith in the doctrine of the redemptive power of suffering is confusing, but I hope we can be born again in a better world.

Although she’s gone and we cannot bring her back, I believe that she still lives and I hope in the Lord that He will give her life again, to the entirety of her beautiful being.