Saturday, June 18, 2016
So my cousin committed suicide. He was 6 weeks older than me, had a son about 20 years old a couple of much younger kids (e.g. 7 y.o.). I am in shock. As kids we were arch rivals, our dads were brothers and they basically treated us like pit bulls, making us fight (literally) in my grandma's front yard as some kind of sibling rivalry gone wild. When I was growing up I remember my mom and his mom getting into these perpetual duels, He got straight A's and is on the swim team, wrestling team, track team. Well she got straight A's and is on the math team, tennis team, and Honor Society, blah blah blah. Of all my cousins on my dad's side of the family, he was the most "normal," in that he actually like, had a job, got married, had kids. Unlike me or my brother or our three Florida cousins, none of whom ever married or had kids, or his own sister who had a couple of kids with a couple of different guys and frankly was a little "off" by which I mean she was kind of on the border of being developmentally disabled, plus drug problems... anyway I dunno, I am just in shock and super bummed to say the least.
Also the twist is that one of the aforementioned Florida cousins committed suicide in 2013. So within less than 3 years, two of my first cousins on my father's side have killed themselves (and for the record, they aren't brothers - first cousins). Both of them were "in recovery," for what that's worth. I just don't understand, I feel like I know me and my brother are kind of messed up due to our parents dying but how did these two get so messed up? I know that is kind of irrelevant, that they were both probably depressed and that's an illness, as far as I'm concerned, in just the same way that cancer or tuberculosis is an illness, but still.
I hadn't spoken to or seen my cousin in probably 20 years so I feel guilty about that, too. His father and my father, being brothers, spent a lot of time together so his father was always at my house as a kid, I had a terrible relationship with my uncle, constantly fighting which seemed weird to me at the time and still today, because he was an adult man and I was a kid, but we were like kids competing for my dad's attention (my dad was his older brother by about 4 years). He had serious health issues his whole life so he was old before his time, and his health was a constant source of worry in my life as a kid, he had a heart attack in his early thirties, followed by a bunch of surgeries, then a stroke in mid 40s and an early death (he was a type 1 diabetic and really took terrible care of himself), he was part of my motivation to try to improve myself, cuz I remembered what it was like constantly imagining, or just assuming, that one day he would get his act together and stop smoking and drinking cokes and eating hershey bars all day, and that day never came and he died at 46, my god it was so sad, he died right before my dad's birthday, and then my dad died about 3 months later. Jesus it was some sad stuff. My grandmother burying both of her sons in one year. Good lord.
And now my cousin. I can't imagine that it was pleasant having my uncle for a father, I mean I dunno, I'm just not able to resist the urge to like, go through his life and try to figure out what was wrong. There's no point to it. I just can't believe it. We were not in contact but I guess I felt like if I ever wanted to see him, I could, if I wanted.
I just can't flipping believe he hung himself, I mean, everything. He was such a Normal Guy. I can't imagine what kind of pain he was in. And now his kids. I can't imagine their agony.