I want to start including some of my journal entries from over the years, as I think it can be very healing and beneficial to honor the past, for the sake of growth and learning.

From January 22, 2015

I’m about to attend a wake for a cousin by marriage who just passed this week.  I really just, I cannot even fathom his death.  I have to share a quick run-down of the story surrounding his death because it is so shocking.  During the first week of December, we found out that he was experiencing some worsening back pain.  Painful, yes, but just back pain.  One night, the 6th, to be exact, he went into the ER.  After doing an X-ray, doctors saw he actually had a very large tumor in/around/near his spinal cord (that part I’m still not very sure of).  A couple days after the 6th of December, bear in mind, he was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced cancer that had basically invaded almost every major organ in his body.  And, what, six weeks later, he’s gone.  He’s left behind a wife of over eight years and a two-year old daughter.  This is so heartbreaking.

I cannot even fathom this.  I’m blown away, still.  When I get to where the wake is in a little bit, I am sure I’ll be a little bit nervous to see his wife, my cousin.  I always feel a little worried in situations like this.  I know many people do; it probably sounds trite.  I think, even though we’re all human beings and we all communicate in the same tongue, basically, the more emotion that an event asks of us, the harder it seems.  I suppose it all comes down to the fact that we human beings love pride and, as a result of this mindset, we don’t like to appear vulnerable — even at a wake sometimes.  Nonetheless, I’m going to say hello to his wife, hug her, kiss her, and just be that extra body with a fresh set of shoulders for her to cry on should she need them.  It may sound trite, but I certainly don’t think that I need to have some magical, poetic statement stashed up in my brain, ready to whisper to her.  I just need to be there, for her, and for him.

Rest in the peace + love, Hank.

God bless you.

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