My family suffered a horrible loss this past week. My young (only 27) cousin died unexpectedly. It is hitting me so hard. I loved him so much. He was one of the first best friends I ever had. My cousins and I would fight like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day, we always had each other's back. We could tease each other mercilessly, but if an outsider teased one of us, it was WAR.
They taught me so much. Good and bad. We had some great times. We got in trouble together. We got each other in trouble. We had so much fun. We had some epic fights. They taught me how to be a friend. They taught me how to fight. They taught me how to play different games (some of my best memories happened on the basketball court). They taught me how to love. They taught me how to forgive. They taught me that blood is thicker than water.
Now, a piece of that is gone. I am just shattered. I moved away from my family long ago. With the help of Facebook and phone calls, I have kept in touch. They have never stopped being my family, and I have never ever stopped loving them with the intensity that I loved them with as a child.
I have plans of bringing Gigi for a visit in the future. Plans for her to meet all the cousins that I grew up with. Of telling her stories of how we lived our childhoods to the fullest. It really hurts that she will never get to meet my MattMatt. It just doesn't seem fair, though I guess it is common knowledge that life is often unfair.
This has been a very hard time for my family. It was so sudden and unexpected. I suspect I am not the only person that is having a hard time processing this. I am not sure an event like this is ever easy to process, for anyone.
MattMatt was such an amazing person. Yes, I may be a tad biased, but he truly was. He had this smile that could light up any room. I remember when I was upset as a kid, and he would try to cheer me up, he would say something silly and laugh, and it would get me to laughing too. You could not see him smile or laugh, and not join in. He was just that special.
He made friends easily. In truth, I think it would be hard to not love him. He has many friends, and we have a pretty big family. I am sad to say that his friends are all trying to help right now, and I think they aren't helping as much as they'd like to be.
My heart is going out to MattMatt's mom. No mom should ever have to bury their own child, a fact I know all too well. Most importantly, no mom should have to endure drama, while trying to lay their child to rest.
I wish I could reach out to MattMatt's friends, and help them understand that we understand that they are grieving. Friendships, particularly good ones, can run deep. Nearly as deep as family, but family will always run deeper.
It stinks to see the little bursts of drama rising up, when I know MattMatt would not want that. He would want peace. He would want us all coming together in unity to support and comfort one another.
It hurts that I am not able to be there, to comfort my family. To help. It hurts that my MattMatt is gone. It hurts. Memories have been flooding my mind. Remembering the little things. Looking back at them with adult eyes. Realizing I owe him an apology. I called him RatRat several times, after he adopted the popular rat tail hairstyle. At the time I giggled, now I feel bad.
He was beautiful, inside and out. He always will be. A special part of my heart will always keep him alive. I will never forget him or the memories and special times we shared. When Gigi is older, I will giggle as I tell her tales of my childhood.
Just do me a huge favor and tell your cousins you love them. Cousins are often our first and best friends. They are our friends that last forever, no matter what. They are our family. Family by blood, friends by lucky happenstance.