Thursday, June 2, 2022

Sad :(

I had a busy morning. I got up at the crack of dawn (5 a.m.!) to watch the CBC's live coverage of the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee -- then did laundry -- and then washed the balcony door/windows, inside & out (with help from dh -- and they look fabulous, if I do say so myself!). (Showered, went to vote in our provincial election, brought up the little table and chairs for the balcony from our storage locker, wiped them all down -- and then collapsed into one to enjoy the results of our hard work, along with a cup of tea and cookie!) 

In between doing the outside and inside windows, I took a break for lunch. I flopped into a chair, picked up my cellphone and saw a Facebook notification, saying my mom had commented on something. I clicked on it, and up popped a joint Facebook message from my (second) cousins, sisters S&D (daughters of my mom's late cousin) -- saying their younger sister J had passed away this morning.  :(  :(  :(  

At that exact moment, the phone rang. It was my mom -- she had JUST commented on the post (which triggered the notification to me), and then called me!  By then I was in tears, and she was in tears too. 

J was almost exactly a year older than me (she was 62). She grew up in the small Minnesota town where my mom grew up and where my grandparents lived, and we saw quite a bit of her when we were growing up and spending most of our summers there, as well as other holidays. I haven't seen much of her in recent years, as we both moved away from our families for school and then work, and got busy with adult life. The last time was at a family reunion in 2010 -- but we stayed in touch on social media. I just loved her -- she had a huge heart. She was one of those people who was always laughing and getting you to laugh along with her. 

She loved kids (and they loved her back) but never had any of her own -- although she did get married in her 40s. She was an elementary school teacher -- her students were her kids. Unfortunately, she had a number of health issues. She posted on Facebook in late March that she was home after another unspecified "procedure" at a hospital in the closest city.  

After that -- silence. I was actually thinking about her recently, after the school shooting in Texas, and realized I hadn't heard from her in a while. There was a shooting at her local high school about 15-20 years ago, and she was deeply affected by it and by the impact on her community. She'd always commented on other school shootings before (e.g., Parkland), and the silence seemed unusual. I thought "This is not good" and mulled over messaging her, or one of her sisters, to see how she was doing. 

But I didn't. 

I'm not sure what happened. (My mom was going to try to find out.)  I am hoping she just went peacefully in her sleep. :(  

There are quite a few of us childless cousins on that side of the family (and that's been a comfort to me, knowing I wasn't the only one, although it's something we never talked about) -- many of them never married, or married later in life -- but she was one of the ones I knew best and felt closest to. She was a gem. :(  

I am going to miss her. 

ETA, June 4th/22:  This post originally said my cousin died at home. I am not sure where I got that idea from, as her sisters' announcement did not say this. After speaking to a mutual friend, my mother called me last night and said she died in hospital. :( 


  1. I'm so sorry, Loribeth. Two years ago, I lost a cousin I'd spent a lot of time with during school holidays once or twice a year as a child. It's such a shock to lose that childhood connection, especially someone roughly our age. Your cousin sounded very special. Sending hugs and love.

  2. I am so sorry Loribeth. Your cousin will be missed. I enjoyed reading your description of her. We all need more laughter in our lives. <3

  3. Very sorry for your loss, Loribeth.