The anniversary of my cousin's murder is one of many anniversaries I feel compelled to observe. Twenty-five years have passed since he was murdered while he slept in a third floor bedroom in the same kind of house I raised my family in, on the same street where I grew up,
There's what was written in the newspapers, there's what somebody said in a book, but if you're asking why, we still don't know.There simply is no why, no rhyme, no reason. In spite of the collateral damage and the after effects that ripple down the generations, a tragedy is a tragedy, that's all, something terrible that wasn't supposed to happen, but did. My cousin's family (several of whom are dead or dying now) will never find any answers as to why somebody so charismatic, so gifted, so loved would be born with one fatal flaw that drew him to the dark side and put him in the proximity of people so fundamentally flawed, that they had absolutely no respect for life.
For a time, I thought I knew why, or had an idea anyway. Or that I could at least find out. That I'd understand. I was the only one in my cousin's large extended family with the education and resources to make sense of everything. But I haven't. I can't.
In the past several weeks, three other much loved young men in my extended family have also died--one was murdered while two were in some very dark places in their lives.
All I can do now is worry about the descendants of my cousin and myself, our children, our grandchildren and our nieces and nephews and try and transform their lives into fiction, so the young men my family has lost can have new stories and live again.