I am Stunned and in Shock...
Sunday, December 11, 2011
My cousin, whom I love dearly, has died.
I don't know what to say. At roughly 9:35pm this evening, another cousin called and left a message on my answering machine while I was asleep. I didn't recognize the name at first and let the message to go machine. I tend to not answer my phone when it gets late unless I know who it is. When I checked the message, I was completely stunned and shocked. My cousin passed away today. I called my aunty immediately. No one has any exact information yet.
I had last emailed my cousin just this past Thursday. We were talking about our various plans for the weekend. Didn't really think anything about it. My aunty said she'd talked to her the other day. I don't know all the details, but it seems that my cousin hadn't been answering her cell phone or picking up any of her messages at her apartment. This is very unusual behavior for my cousin. She's one of those people who's constantly on her cell phone. Her sister and another cousin (who had a key in case of emergency) went over to check. I don't know how they found her. Guess we have to wait for the autopsy. Never thought I'd find myself having to write or say something like that.
I've been worrying about my cousin for some years now. I've always said that one day, I'm going to get a call and find out she died of a massive heart attack or stroke. I sincerely hoped that it would never ever come to this. I thought, maybe something minor might happen to scare her into taking some action. too late. now, it's too late.
Part of me wants to be sooo angry at her for not taking better care of herself. but I'm too shocked. This is what I do know. Apparently, she hadn't been feeling well the last few days. She didn't mention anything to me in her email, but she was having "flu" like symptoms. As I said, my cousin wasn't very good at taking care of herself. For many many years, she refused to see a doctor to even get a simple physical. She was always afraid they'd find something. I told her, that was the point ! You go to the doctor now before something does happen later. It's called preventative medicine. In past, we'd had arguments about her health and that's caused tension between us. I had to learn to keep my mouth shut if I wanted her to talk to me.
You know how we get posts asking how do we get our loved ones to do something about their health ? We've always had to say that there is nothing you can do to make a person want to change even if it's for their own health and well being. They have to want to change and if they don't want to change, there is nothing you can do. You have to sit on your hands. They'll change when they are ready.
A few weeks ago, my cousin had mentioned that she had a couple of appointments with a doctor. She wouldn't tell me or any other cousin any of the details. She could be like that some times. Tell you her entire life story one day and then be totally evasive the next day. So, I know something worried her enough to go to the doctor and at the time, I felt a bit better. At least she's going to a doctor I thought.
Why do I think my cousin probably had a massive heart attack ? She was a good candidate. She had excessive work stress (worrying that she could get layed off didn't help). She was worrying about what to do with the family house she'd inherited. A lot of her stress was self inflicted. She made situations worse than they had to be. She didn't know how to let go. Saying she was a type A personality as well as a control freak is putting it mildly. She internalized it all. She didn't eat right. She didn't exercise. She wasn't sleeping. She was morbidly obese. When she caught cold/flu, she'd be sick for weeks, not days. She was also diabetic on both sides of her family. I suspected she was diabetic, but ignored those warning signs too.
When it came to her health, she buried her head in the sand. She didn't want to know. She put her faith in God. She said God would take care of her. This is where we'd get into arguments. I told her that while God may be watching over her, she HAD to do something for herself. She couldn't keep ignoring her health. She had to take charge and she wouldn't do it. It's not that she didn't worry about it, I think she was too scared to do anything. I think she felt she was too old to change.
And now I am angry... I am sad... I am upset... What makes this worse is that it corresponds with the death of my former boss last year. She too died of a massive heart attack just before Christmas. They were both the same age. My boss was 57 years old. My cousin, may she now rest in peace, was 57 too.
Dear God, my beloved cousin wouldn't take care of herself. Now... please take care of her.
To all my Spark Friends, you are never too old to make a change. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Please don't ignore warning signs.