Chapter Cousin

Over this Easter break I’ve spent a lot of time with family. Due to a recent loss in the family, we were all gathered for most of the past week. When bad things happen, I have a habit of clinging to my cousins, and it really got me thinking about how weird my relationships are with them. Good weird. They are people who I would be closer to than my own sister, and I could say the exact same for her. My mother has a large family, which means a divide in older vs younger cousins. Growing up I never saw the “older generation cousins”, which meant I grew close to about 5 or 6ish around my own age. Three in particular, but I’d be close to them all. And as I got older, I got to know the “oldies”, and they’re just as insane as us.

As the six of us gathered around the table at one of the “oldies” restaurant, we all had a little reflection. Which is deep for a group who will always be considered “the kiddies table”. We could all write a book with our own memories, which all have a different take. (Which means a lot of whose-side-is-right!). There’s about six years of an age gap between the six of us. But the last eighteen years of growing up with them has been unbelievable.

I had always shared everything with them. I never hesitated to ask for advice off any of them, because unlike asking a friend I could never feel like I annoy them. And they definitely return the feeling! I’ve talked through everything from friends fights, parents divorces, leaving cert stress and fashion advice with them. And they’ve heard far more about my life that any relative should know.

But since our first family funeral, I truly realised how much I depend on them. They’ll know much more than this blog will ever dream of. We’re the youngest of a large family. This means we know there will unfortunately be plenty of more gatherings like the recent few. We all acknowledge this, and it’s the painful truth. And every single time, the first people I will go to will be them. There’s no painful explanation of what is happening, there’s only comfort. And there will always be comfort.

This post is a bit of a mess really, but it’s a tribute to them… I guess.
I always imagined the six of us as book characters. But as I grew up and as they grew up, that idea faded as there’s been a lot of trials and tribulations. But the more I reflect on it, I guess the book isn’t finished yet. Each play a different role, but I’m just so overwhelmed with gratefulness I have for them.

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