Surprisingly or Unsurprisingly, This One Hit Me Hard

I'm having a more difficult time than I expected with the passing of my cousin Becky on Tuesday to brain cancer. It was a steep decline, perhaps a year from diagnosis and a Hail Mary surgery. I was aware she only had weeks left but it doesn't seem to have made it feel less bad.

My dad has 7 siblings and with my mom's one sibling, I have 26 first cousins. Becky was from my generation, 2 years younger than me. We were part of the original handful of grandchildren on my dad's side before there were so many kids it required renting a hall to have Christmas Eve.

While I was closer to her older sister, I still remember that I spent quite a bit of time with her as a child. I haven't seen her in years, probably since my cousin Rachel's wedding (possibly it was my own wedding the last time) so we're talking 15 years. My memories of her are not her as an adult, but as a kid.

I don't know if that's why this hurts so much. If I knew her more as an adult would it hurt less? Does it hurt because I have my own kid now and the thought of losing my kid at any point while I'm alive is horrifying? Or is it because it just proves my own fragility... She had 6 siblings and a husband. The other part of me that aches is for her immediate family. And my dad's siblings and spouses who all watched her grow up. She was really smart and a good person.

I didn't cry this much when either of my grandfathers died. There really is something truly terrible about losing someone in your family so young. I can't imagine the pain they are feeling and just how broken they must be. I can only hope that they get through this ok.


  1. I'm so sorry to read about your cousin's passing, Chiara. I think your feelings are totally valid - your cousin was your age, she has a family, doesn't seem like the right time to go. I'm glad she had a family that will surely rally and support one another.


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