My cousin and I weren't especially close growing up. In fact we'd fight constantly. She and I were very different. I used to do anything and everything not to get fussed at. It is not that I didn't do things wrong, it is just that I would be very careful not to let anyone find out (it is not that I don't do things wrong now, but I just do my dirt quietly as not to bring much attention to it). She was different. It was always whatever with her. Back in the day, we'd fight all the time because of those differences. She was a good fighter and would talk a lot of crap. I still think my folks were scared of her ... they'd let her do whatever and say whatever (for example, I never cursed in front of my Grandmother, Gloria could say whatever she felt like). Because it was just the two of us for a long time (she and I were 8 years apart and my sister came 8 years after Gloria) we were more like sisters and sibling relationships sometimes have some rough spots.
As we got older and I began doing/learning about the inner workings of the soul, I began to have a new appreciation for her and her openness and lack of concern about other people's thoughts about her. There is some freedom in not being concerned with those things that are a staple in my life. For me, most of what I do (and don't do; or the precautions I take when doing undesirables) is about how I and my actions would be perceived. That is sometimes highly limiting. When I hung out with her last September that one night at my mom's party, we were different. We had a ball - she was doing her and it was quite alright. After that we'd talk on the phone every now and then but we never really talked about much. I couldn't afford Christmas gifts so I cleaned out my closet and collected a huge box of clothes, purses, shoes and books for her. I wrote her a letter expressing my new respect and love for her and stuck in the box. I put the box in my trunk but never mailed it. Even when she got sick, I thought of sending care packages with books and journals but never did. I honestly thought she'd make it.
I can't shake my sadness because I don't know if she know how I felt about her. I really loved that little girl (not age, but stature - she was like 4'9") but I don't know if I ever said it - I can't remember ever being like "I love you". I do remember and know that I spoke a lot to her (and about her) expressing all that I felt she could be or could become, but not so much for who she was right now. There were so many of her actions that I felt were out of line that I know I made known that I didn't appreciate it. I don't know if she could grasp that my concerns for her life were out of love for her and her son.
With Bernie, I had an opportunity to at least express some of my feelings toward him (when he got sick, we did a company get well video and everyone got a few minutes to say what they pleased). I never said a thing to her. When I'm misunderstood by my friends or dudes that end up falling off, I go out of my way to make sure they know how I feel. Why didn't I do that with her? I can't shake it because I know I didn't do my best to make her know how I felt. I was going to go and see her on the 8th but she was gone on the 1st.
I know this isn't about me but I can't help but feeling like a dirty, shady selfish person - if you love someone, you should be down. I always say I'm down but I wasn't and I can't shake that feeling. I don't want to talk about it or see anyone because I don't want to hear how I didn't know or it is not my fault or other words of comfort. I know my friends love me and know me and I'll go as far as to say they know my heart. But I can't shake that my cousin died not knowing any of those things about me so there is a huge change she died not knowing that I loved her.