One of my cousins phoned me late this afternoon with some bad news. Her brother was killed today by a charging bull in one of the farm pens. Apparently it was all over with quickly and the air ambulance crew was unable to save him. I have seen someone charged and damaged by a bull before and I have to admit I feel a certain amount of gratitude that my cousin did not have to live through such a disaster as he would never have recovered fully.
This is another in a series of accidents that have taken the lives of various cousins and other relatives on my mother's side of the family over the years. So many tragedies have befallen them and some of their in-laws as well. A couple of my cousins have died recently because of terrible illnesses also, at relatively young ages.
My mom will be very upset at this news. Another of her relatives is gone. As the cousin who called me said, "There were once 5 of us kids and now there are only 2 of us left." Being an only child I can only imagine the feeling of loss she is experiencing.
Just prior to my cousin's call I had prepared a sympathy card for the widow of one of our beloved Diocesan priests who passed away quietly the other day. Now there are more cards to write and send away.
While I am grateful that there is little question of the ultimate destination of the souls of these people now departed, there is only so much comfort that knowledge can provide for those left behind.
Losing someone, so shockingly unexpectedly, is difficult to cope with and I pray my relatives can cling to their faith during this very painful time.