Today Mom called me out of the blue. I knew something was up and I had a good idea what it was. I listened to the Skype ringing sound for a bit, not really wanting to answer. Finally, knowing that there was no changing what was coming, I answered. My hunch was right on target, my cousin passed away this afternoon after a long battle with brain cancer. We knew it was coming, we knew there was no way to stop it, still...
I understand the whole "it's better that way", the whole "the guy we knew wasn't there anymore". I understand all that. I also have no problem with the concept of death itself, to me it's just a transition to other things. A passage if you will. My problem with the whole thing is simple: it doesn't make sense. Why would a young man, who is generally healthy, likes sports, live a quiet life without bothering anyone would suddenly be hit with brain cancer?
When I was a kid, a counselor at a summer camp I went to nicknamed me "Miss Logique" because I kept taking apart everything he told us and try to make sense of it. I have always felt that things should always make sense, that there is a rational explanation for everything. For that reason, illogical statements or situations need to be pulled apart, understood and corrected if needed.
Through my life I've struggled to make sense of the world around me and the people who live in it. In a general manner I've been successful, but there are still things that just don't make sense, and that bothers me greatly.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot figure out why children get sick. That does not make sense to me. Don't bother giving me God's "Greater plan" story, I don't want to hear it. It's a band-aid we put on an irrational event to keep our mind from flying apart. I don't buy it.
Why would a man like my cousin, a young man, easy going, who never even thought of hurting anyone would die at 39, after countless pain and suffering for him and his family while serial killers and rapist rot in jail perfectly healthy. It just doesn't make any sense.
I'm not talking about those people who get hit by tornadoes every year and stand there wondering why me? Or about that guy that went off to get friendly-friendly with the Grizzly bears and got killed by them. I'm not saying those people asked for it, but they did put themselves in harms way. They took the risk, and well, they lost.
I'm talking about people not doing anything risky, not doing anything wrong, about a 3 years old child fighting leukemia. Why? What can a toddler have done? I'm talking about simple every day people who are just doing their thing and then BOOM. Or the victims of random criminal act, a girl just happening to walk home from 7-11 at night taken behind a school and raped. Why?
Those things don't make sense to me, and because of that, I can not process them, much less accept them. In a way I envy those who can find their solace in religion. It must be great to find an answer that bring sense to all of it. I just can't bring myself to accept that answer.
I guess my next fence to cross is to trade understanding for acceptance. I'm not sure I'm ready for it. In the meantime I will just take a deep breath, and keep on keeping on and hope that one day, somehow, somewhere, everything will be clear.
Have a great journey cousin, say hi to Grandpa for me.