Friday night was the memorial service for my cousin Melissa (22). I wasn’t planning on going but my mom reminded me of how much we need our family (no matter how distant) around us during these tragic times. It’s not that I didn’t care, it’s just that I didn’t really know her. We’ve never met and I haven’t seen her parents in over 15 years. It’s been more like 20 years for other members from that side of the family. So obviously, I didn’t feel like I would be much support during this time. If anything, I would feel like an impostor or interloper. But my family seemed to need me there and it would be good to see the old family again, even if it wasn’t under the best circumstances.
What I didn’t expect, was to be so affected by the service. It wasn’t anything unique, but it was a glimpse into the life of someone very special through the eyes and words of those who will miss her most. What struck me the most was what an amazing person she seemed to be. Full of hope and joy and “spunk”, it made it all the more tragic that a spirit like her’s was taken so early in life. Not that any lose isn’t tragic, but some people’s passing affects so many more people than others. Ultimately, it’s the void they leave behind, the unfulfilled potential that hurts the most.
I didn’t know Melissa, but I wish I did. Now I won’t get that chance until we are both in heaven singing our Lord’s praises.