On Sunday, my cousin died.

He had a hard life and in a way I’m thinking that at least he’s not suffering anymore.  But, the shock is starting to wear off and now I’m thinking that I just really miss him.

He was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 2 years old.  I’m not sure that it was ever totally in control.  But, he was a “bright side of life” kind of guy for the most part.

My grandmother had a last wish when she passed, and it was that the family stay connected.  But, my Aunt (Joey’s mother) did some things not 24 hours after Mommom passed that made honoring that wish impossible.  But all 6 of us cousins did our best.  Unfortunately our best wasn’t really good enough, but I did keep in contact with Joey, mostly through his efforts.

He did have a kidney transplant years ago, but the medications they gave him for anti-rejection pushed his brain right into bipolar.  Mania highs, major depressive lows.  So, he stopped the meds and subsequently rejected the kidney.  From then on, he suffered dialysis.

But, he recently got news that the doctors weren’t using the same anti-rejection medications, which meant that he could get back on the transplant list.

But, a second transplant wasn’t to be.  A couple weeks ago he suffered a major heart attack, a major stroke and a bunch of mini strokes.  He ended up in the hospital, on a ventilator and constant dialysis.  Valve replacement surgery (what our grandmother died from) was recommended, but Joey was never stable enough to have it done.

I’m told it was peaceful.  I’m told that his last words were ‘I feel better’.  Was his body rallying before death, as so often happens, or was he seeing heaven?  We’ll never know for sure, but I like to believe he was seeing heaven just a little bit.

There’s to be no funeral, which I couldn’t go to anyway because of my Aunt.  It would be rude of me to impose on the funeral of her son because we don’t like each other.  And, after all, he’s her son.

I’ll miss you Joey.  It’s much to early to have to say goodbye to you.

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