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.