While you were celebrating the joys of love at your friend's wedding, SM, I was celebrating the life and mourning the death of my cousin. He was actually the husband of my cousin, but family is family. He was killed in a vehicle-related accident, struck by an oncoming car as he performed his job as a trash worker for the city.
Each time I think about him and the wife and three young children he left behind, I am saddened. He really cared about his family and now they must find a way to move on without him.
At the funeral I learned several things about him. One, when he first met my cousin, he told her that he had a heart for a family. From the beginning, he knew that he wanted to be a husband and father and he was never derelict in this duty. He took care of them.
Two, he was an artist who tried to impart his passion to his children. I already knew that he was a painter; I have two of his works hanging up in my home and office. I did not know that he taught his children art every Saturday morning. During the service, my cousin shared with us a painting that his 5-year-old son did that morning called "Daddy's Office" which was in fact a picture of his casket. And while I was there his son showed me another picture he drew called "Hot Hand." It was not only pretty good work, but also an encouraging symbol that his father's passion and legacy can live on in him.
Often when one person survives a tragedy and someone else doesn't there is some guilt in the survivor. Although intellectually I know that I shouldn't, I do feel some guilt each time that I find myself enjoying DH's company. I do not even want to imagine myself in my cousin's position and I feel guilt for that as well. In addition to being the Great Equalizer, death is a strange catalyst for emotions as well as behavior. I suppose wallowing in this guilt would not be a fitting legacy for a man who believed in marriage and family.
Keep my cousin and her children in your prayers and be sure to appreciate the loved ones we have with us.