Grief is like an unwelcome visitor that comes unannounced. I never know what triggers him to show up. I never know how to handle the pain he carries. In an odd mix of emotions I sometimes even feel guilty to send him off. He comes and changes life forever and here I am left to deal with his visits.
The passing of my cousin was difficult and is painful. The last call I would have ever expected to get on Good Friday was from my sister telling me Rogy was killed in an accident. Grief came. I knew then that Good Friday would never be the same. It will forever be marked with his memory.
The next few days were a mix of sadness and joy. Rogy and I along with our cousins grew up together. Summers were like one huge sleepover, mats on the floors, pajamas all day, and lots of Super Mario. We'd ride our bikes in the dessert doing jumps and finding frogs in little creeks. They use to always get warts but I proudly never got one. Roaming around China town buying who knows what and ending the day in the back of the SUV looking at stars.
I remember my uncle offering us five dollars per dance off. We would dance our little hearts out until sweat was dripping from our fore heads. Holidays. Christmas Eve's were the best. Together dancing and playing games. Sleeping and anxiously waiting for presents. But my favorite memory of him was reading him Toad and Frog. There we were in the bed and his little head on my shoulder. I read him the whole book and he unexpectedly fell asleep. I laid there a long time just looking at him so peaceful. So precious. He was just laying there.
I couldn't help that memory from surfacing at the funeral. Seeing him there, but now a man. Laying there so peaceful. So precious. Except now this was the last time I would get to see him. This was our last goodbye.
People say he is in a better place but it's a consolation to the pain that is rooted in the fact that he isn't here with us anymore. The world will be void of his smile and gentleness. We won't get to hear his clap of thunder. His hugs. Rogy was our peace maker even from when we were kids. He just wanted everyone to get along and have a good time.
I'll forever regret not staying in touch as I left from high school to start my life. We weren't close as adults but he would always show up with his beautiful girlfriend whenever I was back in Cali . So generous. Always a gift in tote for my daughter's first birthday and for my bridal shower for my son. He was always there when it came to family.
Even in death you've left me with lessons I'll hold dear to my heart. To always be generous. Be a peacemaker. I'll think of you Rogy when I take life for granted, complaining about the petty things. I'll think of you when I'm not valuing family and friends because you have shown me life is fragile. I'll think of you every holiday. I'll try hard not to be sad and to cherish the times we got to share together. But know that you will forever be missed.