I'll be going to one this week. A cousin of my father's passed away this week. His children and grandchildren and especially his wife and sisters will miss him a great deal. He was more like an uncle than I cousin to me, and I will miss the crotchety old cuss, too.
I'm at a little distance from this one, though. Not as close as my own parents, who's loss I'll feel forever, as do most people, I suspect. The torch is passing in my family, who is the oldest, which generation "leads" the family. Who does everyone look up to? I think the hardest thing is that those elders are the ones that keep the ties together, in a lot of ways. The cousins that my father and mother grew up with are mostly strangers to me, and my loved cousins are living their own lives with children and grandchildren to keep track of, and visit. I'm happy that the internet with its e-mail and social sites like facebook help a little with the keeping in touch, but how can I be part of their every-day lives, or they part of mine? The miles are a great barrier indeed.
So, along with the realization that I'm not marking anything new, no matter how profound it may or may not be, I also mark a passing from the past to the present, to a near future that I will get to see, and a farther one that I will not. I realization that I am, in fact, mortal, not immortal, and with a deep breath, it is OK. Change does come, and it is good, and it is only change. An ending, not THE ending. Rest in Peace, Mac Chew.