Saturday I attended my cousin’s funeral. It’s hard to really put into words how I was feeling. Of course I was sad, but it was more than that. I was tremendously sad for his family and that his life had been cut short, but was relieved for him that his long, hard journey was over. I was proud of the way he had kept such an upbeat attitude and lived life to the fullest, joking right up to his last day. And happy that he had insisted that
everyone give him a hug before they left his hospital room.
As we were heading to the funeral home, I was hoping I would be able to hold it together until the service, and when I met up with some of my other relatives, I thought I was okay. On the table, beside the urn were placed some of my cousin’s favorite things including family pictures, a banana, Bits and bites, his cigarettes, a container of his favorite ice cream and a Tim Horton’s coffee cup, the original contents of the latter two replace with flowers ; that was him. It made me and the others smile. I noticed my cousin’s older brother, with whom I had gone to school, and went over to give him a hug. At first I thought I would be fine, but then I started to feel the sting in my eyes and I was afraid I was about to cry and that I would set him off, as well. I decided that seeing the rest of my cousin’s family, especially my Aunt, before the service would not be a good idea, as I was afraid I wouldn’t just cry, but completely break down, and they didn’t need that. So I sat down, ashamed for not being as strong as the grieving family, and tried to keep my mind on other things for the next half hour.
I knew my cousin was a very well liked person, but it was touching to see every seat taken, every room, including the hallway of the funeral home filled. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. A testament to how many lives he had touched.
Part of his eulogy reflected on his sense of humour. He was one of the funniest people I have ever met and you never left him without laughing or smiling at least once. A joke was made about his interest in real estate, and not to worry about getting a place in heaven, as he probably bought forty acres as soon as he got there.
His medical struggles followed him most of his forty-five years, but most of us outsiders never saw it get him down. His strength and humour kept him going as well as his optimism and his girls. He was and is an inspiration. A bright light has definitely gone out. He will be truly missed. I lift my cup of “Timmy’s” to you. Cheers!