Death, you can no longer run & hide from it.

We sit in the living room discussing newspaper articles that this customer of my father’s has saved. She has a pile sitting in her house from many years back. For the past few years, I’ve been looking on google, yahoo, bing etc to see if I could find something, anything on my cousin Eddie’s tragic death. At one point, his name was all over the news & the internet.

My dad says to me I have the article upstairs in a bag. He kept it, he kept the article on how my 6-year-old cousin died when he swallowed a tack. I couldn’t believe it. All of this time I sifted & searched and he could retrieve it by opening a bag & pulling it out. I was amazed and astonished.

He heads to the upstairs attic and I follow. It takes about five minutes for him to discover the newspaper article that reads “Six-year-old dies after inhaling tack.” When I read it, it all came back to me, the day, the year, the pain, the agony. I remember it. It seems that I’m going through it all over again. If you’ve read my past article, you know that I loved my cousin dearly & his 11-year death has just passed on May 27th.

I remember how gruesome & disgusting that time was. This is the first year that I’ve REALLY dealt with my cousin’s death head on. The past years I’ve avoided it, refused to think about it, talk about it and moved away from it. I couldn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t want to deal with the hardship that goes along with death.

Death. How absurd, cruel, grotesque, dirty and painful. See, I try to tell myself that it’s not real, it’s all a joke. If someone dies, they will come back. This is just a cruel joke being played on me. It will pass and the individual will make their way back. However, after realizing that that is nonsense, reality hits home and year after year as I dream, wish & hope for Eddie’s return, I’m in for a rude awakening. He’s not here. He hasn’t come back. He won’t come back. And, I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. Can you explain it to me once more? If you give a full description this time, maybe I will finally stop asking for an explanation.

But, I’m STILL not over it. I’m still not over Eddie. I can’t be. I just keep thinking about it over & over. I sound like a broken record. I wanted to see him more. I can’t change ANYTHING anymore, he’s gone & he’s NEVER coming back. How harsh.

I was curious to see how I reacted to my cousin’s death in my journal. I was 11. There was one particular line that I will note here, though I will mention a few. I haven’t edited them, I simply left them as is:

August 26, 2001, 12 years old, [Sunday]  I made a wish that Eddie was alive but it didn’t come true.

I was 12 years old in this entry. I just turned 12 & that was the wish I made for my birthday. That’s powerful at such a young age. This one was a month before my previous one:

July 30, 2001, 11 years old, [Monday]  My cousin Eddie died and I miss him when I watch tapes I see Eddie in them I SO wish Eddie was alive please God! Everybody misses him so dag much. I Miss him SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

To look back on these entries is devastating. I read them to my mother & she was in utter disbelief. She didn’t realize that Eddie was that special to me. As I’ve told her, he was one of my favorites. I believe he was a favorite among everyone. And, here’s the last one:

September 25, 2001, 12 years old, [Tuesday]    Soon Jenn’s wedding is coming up Saturday [my uncle’s daughter. Eddie was the ring bearer] I wish Eddie was coming! PLEASE GOD BRING EDDIE ALIVE PLEASE [God read this] {There was an arrow pointing to that statement}

As you can see, Eddie’s death affected me. It was the most tragic death that’s happened to me. Imagine your 6-year-old cousin dying from a tack slipping down his or her throat. And, yet again, we see how death looms over everyone. Nobody wants to deal with it. They save it for tomorrow, throw it over to another field, escape, run or hide. It’s a given. No one wants to go through it, but it’s there. It’s ‘there’ every single time you leave the house, go to work. go shopping. Everything you do is dangerous. Every day of your life you put yourself in danger without really knowing or realizing or recognizing it. It’s such a dreadful, gross cycle that can’t be changed, altered or fixed. There’s no pause or rewind button on this one. There’s no re-do. It comes when it comes.

You must always cherish everything that you have. Look at this sweet, innocent boy who died by accident.

If you wish to read the article, here it is:

But, I need to deal with the fact that he’s gone & he’s NEVER coming back.

❤ Hope Kumor


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