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An Affecting Death

June 9, 2017

My cousin died last week, at his own hands. I’m not especially close with any of my cousins. He was probably typical of that generality, though if I remember correctly his family might have lived with mine for a time when we were young, and I think we might have attended the same elementary school at some point. I certainly hadn’t spoken with him for many, many years.

I’m also–just to throw something out there that in other circumstances would likely warrant further discussion–not someone who is usually affected very much by people I know dying.

So I’m surprised at how much I keep thinking about this one.

Like I say, I wasn’t close with him, especially in recent, hell, decades. I’ve been hearing people tell things about him recently, though. I’ve been impressed to learn he had a distinguished army career as, among other things, an Apache pilot and a Chinese interpreter. When not deployed, he was an accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player and a CrossFit devotee.

Point being, he had a career and hobbies that I find quite exemplary in the sense of trying to find purpose in pushing yourself and accomplishing something meaningful. I’m trying to find motivation and drive by pursuing similar goals, and my current aims are much more modest even than what he had accomplished. And yet, it obviously wasn’t enough to keep him going.

There is, of course, the variable of his being a combat veteran. I’m not sure how much that factored into his interior experience. I haven’t heard anyone mention, say, a PTSD diagnosis or symptoms or any other demons of that ilk. But, then, who’s to say. Another variable is that his family had been having a rough time, with his (ex-)wife had been going through some strife. They had two kids, too.

Anyway. Some similarities to my life, some differences. I’m just thinking about this one more than usual.

From → Navel Gazing

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