Saying Goodbye To Another Cousin

Have you ever wanted to write something down, but whenever you try, nothing will move from head to paper? It’s not because the subject doesn’t interest you, or it is technically complicated or tedious. It’s just that you want to express something and you can’t find the words. This is one of those posts.

Back in 2009, I wrote about my one cousin dying from suicide. In my post about his service, I wrote that I was worried about his brother because the eulogy he gave appeared to be loaded with self-blame. I knew he was already having problems. I hoped the loss of his brother wouldn’t make them worse.

Now, yesterday, I learned that the brother died suddenly last Sunday at the age of 31. Every time I think about it, I can feel my heart dropping to my feet.

I think about that eulogy. It was a weird way to do a eulogy. Dean, the older brother, stood up and talked as if he were Joel, the one whose service we were attending. He kept saying things like “I would get so mad when Dean drank,” or “Dean would do x and I would get so upset.” Over and over again, as if Dean could read Joel’s mind, he took the blame for his brother’s state of mind. I really wanted to find him before the service was over and everyone left so I could take him aside and urge him not to take so much of the blame. But I never got the chance. Every now and then that would cross my mind. I’m sure someone else told him this, but it would have been nice to know I could have tried. Now everything is so final.

That family has lost so much. Their dad lost his wife to cancer when the kids were wee, he lost Joel back in 2009, and now Dean. I can’t even begin to fathom what he’s going through.

I just hope that he gets lots of help, and doesn’t blame himself. I don’t know all the circumstances of Dean’s death, but I can’t imagine them being good.

Like I said when Joel passed away, most of my memories of the boys were when they were small. I remember when Joel wasn’t even born yet, and we were at some big family get-together of some sort. For some reason, I got playing with Dean. I just remember chasing him up and down some stairs. The memory is foggy, but I had a lot of fun with this little guy, and wondered why we didn’t see him more.

Then I remember when the family came to stay with us because they were in the area going to some park or something. I remember following Dean and Joel around our house and playing games with them. We had a lot of fun.

I think the last memory I have of them was a few months after their mom passed away. I remember Joel being a happy bubbly kid and Dean was so serious, but they were still fun kids to play with.

I will remember those days, but I will be sad that both their lives had to end too soon. I hope Dean and Joel have found each other and are at peace.

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