OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Isn’t that a stupid phrase for when someone you love dies? Like, you’ll find them again before you leave this life? On days like this, I feel a deep sorrow, and love for a person whose time on this earth was cut short.
My little brother, LCpl Kenneth Eldren Cochran’s birthday is today. He would have been 23. He passed away in Habib, Afghanistan on January 15, 2012 and the world has been a little less bright since then.

I sometimes wonder why God does things like that-let it happen, I mean. I probably should be angrier at him for it, but realistically, I know all of the time we have on this earth is being counted, and nobody lives forever. We are mortal, and sometime, whether you’ve had a long or short life, we will die.

I think our world is separated from death these days. It’s just something that happens to the bad guys on TV, and after all, they deserved it. The world is now a little less bad.

It used to be Great Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles lived in the same house as the kids, and helped with chores, or watching little ones. When anyone died, it was a very personal experience. If an animal was sick, it was the family’s job to put the animal down as to not let it suffer.  Now, we push death away from us, isolated in the sterile environments of hospitals, or in my case, war zones.

Kenny died in a freak electrical accident in Afghanistan, and I think that somehow makes it worse. If he had “gone down in flames and glory,” it seems only then you can truly think of them as a hero. I’ve found that’s not the case, but as it is, it seems almost senseless. I went through the anger stage of grief like anyone else, but in looking at the bright side of things, you always find a silver lining.

Emma Thompson is quoted to have said, “Its unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.” And I think I agree. While I wish none of this on anyone, it’s very easy to relate to people who have really lived-gone through life a little rougher. They always seem to know exactly what you’re going through.

I hate that Kenny died, and I hate that I am no longer able to insta-chat with him on Facebook, I hate that now with my family, there are only 5 of us. Everytime I go home, and we all go out to eat, I still count in my head and tell the waitress it will be 6+however many people we have with us. And my heart breaks a little every time my family quietly leans over, and corrects my count.

Sometimes people leave this earth, and they leaves holes in who we are. I think they’re not quite meant to fill with something else, instead I think that longing is what makes some people not afraid to die and meet their maker-they realize that people are what count, and getting to see them again in the beginning of eternity is what makes it all worth it.

Kenny, I’ll see you again, and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with your hair.

IMG_0198