My cousin died last week.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon

It affected me deeply.

This was not just any old cousin, he was three months older than me, the second oldest in my generation, and now, with my older sister gone and him gone, I’m the oldest, and it feels…weird.

It feels kind of lonely. Like I’m at the edge of a precipice.

And then I did something silly.

I have a deeply held belief that once a person is prepared for burial, washed and wrapped in their shroud, no one should look at them again.

I would definitely not want anyone gawking at my dead face while I’m laying there helpless.

It’s even in my will.

Once I’m washed, I don’t care who they are, they’re not seeing me.

I drove all the way down to Hamilton to attend my cousin’s janaza prayer. And while I was mingling with family, my auntie, his mother, told me to go take a look at him, they’d be closing the lid of the pine box soon and wheeling it to the head of the congregation, and being curious, I went to take a peek.

That one quick glance is etched in my mind. It’s the last glimpse of him and I’ll remember it over all the other times I saw him, and I deeply regret it.

I do believe you have to take yourself to task.

Once you’ve established a principle, you need to try to stick to it, and yet yes, there are times you will be weak and violate your principle.

Mostly everyone does. I know I do.

I slip up at times, despite the best of my intentions.

And at this moment, curiosity got the better of me.

When I was telling a friend of mind about my lapse, she kept trying to insist that it wasn’t a lapse.

And that got me frustrated. I wanted to tell her that look, the biggest sin is not sinning, it’s not being honest enough to own it.

When I sin, and I do sin, I try to own it, and ask God for forgiveness. And then I try not to do it again. I think that’s a heck of a lot better than pretending I never did anything wrong.

Anyway, I was so sad about my cousin’s death I also lapsed in terms of my determination not to eat sugar. Ooh nelly! Boy did I ever! Doesn’t help that halloween candy’s on sale!

Anyway, I’m going to try to get back on track.

As for the tenterhooks, my Blue Jays, Toronto’s baseball team, of which I am a huge fan! Were on the brink of elimination from the ALDS series. They came back to even the series and tomorrow is the final game that decides it all.

On tenterhooks!!!

Oh, and there’s an election coming up. I really really hope we have a change of leadership!

I’ve never hoped it more in my life!

May God have mercy on us!