I'm young, so I rarely think about dying ... in my mind, I have many decades to go. But, every now and then a contemporary falls to a life cut short, and I'm hit with my own mortality. My cousin, young at 37, is being consumed by a merciless disease. I have been there, active and passive, watching her quickly fade into a sliver of what she once was. I have never dealt with death well, probably because of my afterlife uncertainty. But, as her condition worsens, I find myself becoming weaker because I am scared and unsure whether I can handle whats soon to come.
My family is grieving, and the stress is increasing. I feel the weight, and it is exhausting. I don't know what to do, what to say, when to be there, or when to leave. I want to bring happiness, distraction, smiles, and memories. I want to be able to put aside my heavy heart, and help her find peace.
It is never easy to lose a loved one, or watch them go through something so painful and unforgiving. But, when someone is dying young, when it could be you, its difficult not to internalize these frightful possibilities.