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Odes to those who leave us

November 13, 2012

A lot of people who have connected with Life in Finland are people like me, far from home, living in another country – thinning the threads that bind one to the original home country. So what I am writing about this time around will strike a chord with some of you, because you have been there before too.

My cousin died the other day.

It’s really hard being away from those closest to me in times like these. I wish I could have been there, because when the end came she was surrounded by many, many people who loved her.

In any case, my cousin was a brilliant person, she was very intelligent.
She baked cookies exclusively for our grandfather and oh, did he love them.
She made wicked salsa.
She helped build houses through Habitat for Humanity.
She made up stories that rhymed in order to get the message through about how her year had gone and it accompanied her annual Christmas card.
I lived with her briefly when I started going to school in the same city where she lived. She drove me all over town when I was looking for my own place to live in and put her seal of approval on the place I finally chose.
She and her boyfriend chose not to live together, but they managed to buy both parts of a duplex so they could be neighbours.
She had a cat named Bongo.
She was crazy for penguins.
She made me laugh, a lot.

If I ever could have had an older sister, I would have chosen her, but she was my cousin – so maybe that is close enough.

I’ll really miss her.

So to those of you out there who have lost someone and not been there at that moment, I share my condolences.

Though this isn’t a time to be sad, I should be celebrating too. So I’ll share a laugh in the form of Pingu. She loved him.

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