Today, 29 years ago, my cousin A was born, and in the most bitter of ironies, she will also be considered to have died today. In my view though, she's been gone since Wednesday or maybe even before that when her illness stole her from all of us.
On Monday, I will fly with my sister to Minnesota where we will say goodbye to her with the rest of our family. And then on Wednesday we will fly home, and here is where it gets weird, we'll return to life as normal.
Part of me is grateful that I wasn't around her on a daily basis, that I don't have daily reminders of her absence. Part of me thinks it would be harder to have those moments throughout the day where you go "oh yeah, that's right, she would've done this or said that". But then I feel rather selfish to think about how much easier it is for me instead of empathizing with her husband or children or mom or sisters, for whom this situation is so much more painful. Its when I think about the kids that it hits me. They will probably never remember being around their mom....they are so young still. And I think about her hubby and how hard it would be to suddenly be a single father of two and a widower.
But even without daily reminders of my cousin, there are still a ton of great memories of our families together: swimming at the lake, playing cards, family dinners, fighting with siblings, teen girl primping and even back to school shopping.
She will always be a part of my growing up. I just wish she would've been more a part of my adulthood. She will be missed.