My cousin died last night. She had been fighting cancer for 7 years.
We weren’t close, either in proximity or in familial feelings. Matter of fact, I probably hadn’t seen her in over 40 years. It doesn’t matter. She’s still my cousin. She was family. She suffered. She has a son. He suffered; still is suffering, as are her mother, her sister, her niece. Cancer sucks.
You know, sometimes when we lose someone suddenly, tragically, accidentally, we say “at least if they were ill we would have had a chance to say goodbye.” Saying goodbye ain’t always all it’s cracked up to be. My cousin was in the hospital for the last week, had been in and out of the hospital a number of times over the last 6 months at least, had been suffering through chemo for endless periods before that. I don’t think her prognosis had been anywhere near ‘good’ for at least the last 2 years. That’s way too much time to say goodbye.
My dad died suddenly, and that sucked. Sudden isn’t great. My brother died with time for us to say goodbye, but I don’t think I ever really did. He knew I would miss him, he knew I loved him, he knew I didn’t want to say goodbye. So he tugged on my sleeve to make sure I stayed that night he drew his last breath. That sucked, too.
Losing someone you love hurts. Whether it’s sudden or tragic or you’re forewarned doesn’t change that. The fact that my cousin is finally at peace and without pain is a good thing, but the fact that she died … well, it sucks.
Hug the people you love.