I always wondered how my husband would deal with loss. We’ve been so fortunate in that in the nearly 6 years we’ve been together he hasn’t lost a single important or close person in his life (that I can recall in this moment, which isn’t saying much since my mind is a little bit fuzzy right now. I’m so sorry if I’m forgetting something hugely important). I’ve lost family members- important ones- but never have I really had to see him, or help him, go through grief.
But today, like a ton of bricks, immediately after I posted today’s post, we were hit with the tragic news that one of his cousins, who turned a mere 26 yesterday, died early this morning in a horrific car accident. He was riding as a passenger with one of his friends down a major road when, around 3am, the driver lost control of the car. They hit a retaining wall and the car flipped. C’s cousin was crushed on impact. So horrible was the damage that the only way to identify him was through fingerprints. The driver was taken to the hospital in very critical condition, and died earlier this evening.
This cousin isn’t like your average cousin. This cousin lost his own parents at a young age. He has one sister. In other words, the bulk of this cousin’s immediate family was the whole family- C, C’s family, the other cousins, the aunts and uncles, and most importantly… their grandmother. Their grandmother ultimately raised him after he spent a short period of time living with C and his family. This cousin is a child of the extended family, loved by the entire extended family. There have been so many things- too many things- that haven’t gone right in his life, and for it to end so tragically, so abruptly is just…
Well. There are no words.
C was devastated when he heard the news. He spoke to his dad and held it together, but when he hung up and began to tell me, he broke down. I held him, and we cried. We cried, and we talked about it, and we accepted that we are on standby to leave for Texas at any time.
Then C started working out. Then he went outside and started mowing the lawn (which has been grossly neglected, more so the backyard than the front). I watched him through the backdoor as he pushed through our unruly backyard of tall grass and weeds. I can see in his face, as he pushes through the thick spots, that he is coping. He is thinking, and working, and physically exerting himself through it all. And I realized, this is how he copes. He is pushing, as hard as he can, through the thick of it.