A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sudden Loss Is Harder...

Suldog has graced us with the reposting of a memoir concerning the passing of his cousin Joey. I highly recommend you stop by and read it. The emotion coming through is amazing in it's intensity.

It got me thinking about people in my past, instances where I have lost people I cared about suddenly. I had a cousin by the name of Mark who one day hung himself in the barn at the age of 16. There was no warning, no note for those left behind. He was just gone. When the call came, I was stunned beyond words. He was a few years younger than I, and yet even now I struggle to find words that adequately express my feelings.

Mark had a decent family - not perfect, but seemingly good enough. One of the things that struck me like a hammer was the vast number of friends who attended the funeral, with every one of them expressing emotions of loss. I remember being jealous (and feeling guilty about it) that so many people cared about Mark. He had always possessed a confidence and charisma that I lacked, and despite the fact that he was younger, I always felt diminished in both experience and age around him.

Mark was a skilled skateboarder, and just before his death, he had been offered a place on a national skateboard team. Just another facet that makes his death so incomprehensible. His parents were well off, and Mark had really never wanted for anything. From all outward appearances, Mark had a life full of talent, success, friendship, and love. For some reason, that was not enough.

I was going through boxes in the garage recently and stumbled on the only picture I have of Mark. I had to take a moment, and a part of me wanted to mourn all over again. There are so many questions only Mark could answer. I don't know that back then I could have helped him with whatever struggles he was going through, but thinking about it now, I still wish I could have done something.

It's unfortunate that some stars are extinguished way before their time, but that is sometimes the way of things. I guess I just wish I knew why (in this particular case) so that this memory could be laid to rest.

Suldog, I hope you eventually find that moment of peace where memories are only fond ones without pain. May we all find it.


Michelle H. said...

Suldog's post is incredible and a must-read.

Sometimes, it's the questions that lead us to mourn even more because we don't have the answers to bring peace of mind.

Suldog said...


Sorry. This may be a duplicate comment. Feel free to delete if so.

Thank you for the kind words and for the link.

The one thing my cousin Joey did, better than anyone on Earth, was to say "I love you" before he left you. I am like that, too, most of the time. So, as horrible as the circumstances of his leaving were, our last words to each other were "I love you". That alone has helped to ease things a lot.

Everybody should end their conversations that way, whenever possible.

Eric said...

Michelle - I agree whole-heartedly.

Suldog - You are very welcome. That is a good thing, that your last words were something that good. My wife and I do that with our kids all the time, constantly telling them we love them. You just never know when something will happen, and at least that way it's never left unsaid.

ElanaJ said...

Great post, Eric. I'll go check out Suldog's.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

A very powerful and well written post, Eric. I’m a guy who likes structure and order. I like to think that logic rules my life and I make choices and decisions based on logical evaluation of the cogent facts. In short, I like to think I run my life, it doesn’t run me.

Having said that, it’s undeniable that there are certain random events in life over which we have no control. Or, they seem random. Good people have bad things happen, bad people get away with murder. Folks born after me have died of natural causes, or, through accident. I’m still here plugging away. It’s confusing, I’m not sure how much is random and how much we control by making good choices. Sometimes even good choices don’t help. So, I try to focus on the positive, make as many good choices as possible, and hope for the best.

Best Regards, Galen
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