This morning, I got an email from my mother catching me up on the news. One of the news bits was that a cousin of mine had died, but no one knew until someone found him dead in his apartment.
My cousin was older than me, in his mid to late sixties. I never really knew him and had only met him once or twice in my life, the last of which was over forty years ago.
My cousin was the older of two children born to my mother's oldest brother. My uncle died very young from a sudden and unexpected heart failure. He was in his late thirties and he left my aunt a widow at a very young age. She later married another man and was divorced from him after it turned out that he was cheating in his business.
In the meantime, my mother's younger brother had married a woman from out west and they had three children of their own. When his wife died, my uncle contacted his brother's widow and eventually, they courted and married. I loved to joke that my cousins became siblings after that marriage.
Several years later, my uncle died. I was unable to attend the funeral, but my mother and sister did. When I saw pictures of my cousins, I remember thinking that this one cousin did not look well. In fact, he looked like someone who had lived a very hard and destructive life.
This cousin was the oldest of all my cousins. He was also my grandfather's namesake and as such, he inherited what little there was of my grandfather's estate. The numerical value was nothing, but the value of the memories were priceless and no one else in the family got anything. My mother said that she never even got a chance to get a tea cup from that house. The value of memories far outweigh the monetary value and yet my cousin never understood that.
So today, I got the news that a cousin of mine died alone. And I really do not care. He chose to be alone from the family and he ended up alone. Sad.