My cousin died today. She lived in Montreal and was a wife and mother of two kids. The last time I saw her was two years ago when my whole family came together to celebrate my grandpa’s 90th birthday.

I heard the news this morning that she had gotten aneurisms yesterday, the same condition that had killed my uncle years ago before I was even born. The last thing I’d heard about her was that she was unconscious and in the hospital, and when I got out of my 3rd movie today my sister left a message on my phone telling me the news.

It made me think about how short and precious life is.

And how the things I was thinking and getting pissed off about today were so trivial. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to lose someone even closer than a cousin to me – a sister or brother… And for my other relatives, a daughter, a mother, a niece. I often wonder if I was gone if people other than my immediate family or friends would care. And now I know they would because my family is like that. Connected in spirit. My sister and aunt are flying to Montreal redeye tomorrow night, and so is my aunt in Chicago. I have to remind myself that this isn’t the first early death that’s happened on my dad’s side. First Meg’s father, and then my dad’s mother in 1980. I hope Meg’s is the last we experience in a long time to come.

As I was praying in my head today I asked that whatever happens be His will. And now I know Meg’s death must have a purpose, as painful as it is. It has to make our family even stronger than it is.

And teach us that we have to tell the ones we care about how much we care about them.

I know I don’t do it enough, but I try every chance I get.

I never saw Meg very often, but when I did we always had great times. The first time I met her she was at my front door, telling me that she was my cousin… I was such a kid then that I didn’t even know. And then I saw her and her kids when I moved out to Toronto, and visited them in Montreal in the summer. She and my uncle Dean showed me around the city and I got to know the place I was born in. Had it not been for her hospitality and companionship I would never have felt as welcome as I did there. My love for the city compelled me to return months later, cold as it was. And though I felt like more of a foreigner without my French-speaking family members, that kinship with the city that Meg and I shared will always stay with me.

She was such a loving mother to her kids. It’s easy to see where they get their energy and beauty from. They’ll always carry that part of her with them.

Meg, thank you for touching me with your spirit, your warmth and your kindness. I will never forget the times we hung out together and your beautiful spirit.


Be sure to tell someone you haven’t recently that you appreciate and care for them.

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