two of my relatives have expired in the last two weeks. both of terminal conditions (terminal old age and terminal cancer, to be precise).
the contrast was very apparent.
my grandaunt was a little over 80, and has lived to see her grandchildren, some of whom are working and pretty successful in life. when she expired, everyone just gave a collective sigh and moved on. the talk at the family get together after the funeral was more about work, studies, exchanging notes distant relatives, and more mundane day-to-day stuff. pretty much everybody was prepared for her passing away, and frankly, no one was unduly saddened by anything other than the fact that she spent her last few months in bed, unable to move and bearing a great deal of pain.
my aunt, on the other hand, was just past 50, had already lost her husband 10 years ago, and had two kids, one in school and one in college. the kids themselves put on brave faces and barely cried, but i could hardly imagine what it must have felt for them. it's moments like these where we sometimes question god's justice when it comes to handing out suffering, hardship and death. i'm almost 15 years older than the younger boy, and yet i can't bear to even imagine the loss of either of my parents, let alone both.
at the get together after the funeral, we pledged to all be their parents and brothers and sisters, but i know that it can never be the same for them. but i know one thing: god doesn't do anything that you can't deal with. i hope my cousins find that strength and will in him, and in the memory of their parents, and grow up to be great, loving people, as their parents would have wished.