Death is never easy to accept, but it's particularly difficult when you don't see it coming.
Over the past week, I've spent countless hours with my family. There's quite a few of us, and I grew up surrounded by them. We all lived in the same little area of the county. I was always a little caught off guard when I'd meet someone who would say they have aunts, uncles and cousins that they had never even met. I didn't know that people had family they hardly knew.
I've seen all the aspects of grief played out in the past weeks.
There have been tears.
There's been shock.
There's been anger.
There's been disbelief.
There's been story sharing and laughter.
And eating. Lots of eating. People in the south know how to feed others in times like this. The food just kept coming. We'd eat. There'd be more. It was like the never ending Thanksgiving dinner.
It's been a rough week. It's been a long week. It's been hard seeing my uncle and cousins upset. It's been sad to lose someone I've known my whole life. It's reminded me of losing my grandpa last November. And my grannie last May. And my pop pop 10 years ago today. (I'm getting a little tired of funerals. I'm ready for more weddings and babies!)
But it's also been encouraging to see the family come together. We're a large family. Like any family, we've had some ups and downs. But in the end, we love each other and know how to come together.
It's hard to know how people could deal with these kinds of things without the help of family to lean on.
As hard as the whole thing has been, I'm glad to see so much love in my family. For that, I am thankful.