I only just found out that one of my first cousins died this week, unexpectedly. He was 4 years older than me and we haven't been close in many, many years. Indeed, the last time I saw him was at my father's funeral -- now many years (8?) ago. He had a troubled life. Despite those facts, I'm saddened by this. I'm especially sad for his mother, my aunt. She has lost a son. I don't think you can ever lose a child -- I don't care how old they are -- without tremendous anguish. I wish I had some way to be out there to show my love for and share my sorrow with her and his siblings.
Dennis and I shared a middle name (and the same initials) and we shared a deep love for our grandfather. One of my clearest memories is burying my grandfather in 1977. Dennis and I were two of the pallbearers. Despite knowing Dennis as the "strong, silent type", I saw him as he turned one last time to look at Grandpa's grave and softly whipser "Good-bye Grandpa". I knew how much his heart was breaking. Good-bye Dennis. Rest in peace.