The Cousin.

You know that cousin who isn’t really your blood cousin but rather an “honorary cousin” or “cousin by merit”? It’s a really cool feature we had (and still have) , growing up in my amazingly unique country – Ghana. This country is having her challenges, but the social scope has always been beautiful. Growing up, in our social circles we were all “cousins”.  If someone said to any of us , “who is this you are with?” We would say, “this is my cousin.” Yes. We felt that close and connected. Our parents (even if just friends), to us were nothing less than brothers or sisters so if you are not my brother or sister, then you must be my cousin! 🙂

I can’t even begin to list the names of all the people I have once called “cousin”. They are many and most of them know themselves because they see me as their cousin too. Whether we are apart for one day or ten years, reunions are always like we never left or parted ways. In the Western world, it is only the offspring of your aunt or uncle who qualifies to be called your cousin. But here in Ghana, we have various types of cousins. Blood cousin – second and third included. “Family friend cousin”. “Our parents are best buddies” cousin. And “I love you, I hang with you all the time, and you look like you could be my” cousin.

Jehad Ashkar (1981 - 2016)

Tomorrow I will be witnessing the burial of such a well known and celebrated cousin. There are many of us who have had very little sleep since the tragic
news broke a few days ago. Social media is still ablaze with thoughts and memories of Jehad. Anxiety presents itself as we prepare ourselves for tomorrow and the inevitable.

4 thoughts on “The Cousin.”

  1. Great piece. My condolences to your cousin. Stay calm tomorrow. He’ll be watching and he’ll prefer you don’t cry. Stay strong!!!🙏🏾

  2. The loss of a close one is terrible. You have knots in your womb, in your heart and in your stomach. You go about you daily business without actually being alive. All time is measures from the moment you heard the news. You wished the person had arrived five minutes later or five minutes earlier than they did, then the situation would have been different. You feel empty inside. You start flashing memories in your mind. Facing their closest ones gets harder as time goes by, You want to do so much but can do very little to help, you have your healing process and they have theirs. All you can do is show love, keep in touch and allow the process of life take its course. The loved one will always be safe in your heart. It shall be well . Mariska

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