I learned this morning that my cousin, Tony Torlai died yesterday afternoon. He had terminal brain cancer and was not very old, just his early 50’s, I think. My mom told me last week that the Archbishop (Tony wrote him regularly) had visited him to give him last rites. The last time I saw him was last June at my Aunt Gloria’s funeral. It had just been a couple of weeks since learning of my own cancer so I was in a bit of a fog. Tony showed definite cognitive impairment from his disease but was congenial with a most positive attitude. He was getting a great deal out of going to church each day. I was overwhelmed with admiration for his strength and faith. I was also overwhelmed with sadness for his family, especially his three children,

Tony was really close to his brother and four sisters as well as to his parents. They live very close to one another. I can only imagine the depth of their grief right now and in the time ahead. I am heartened that their great love for one another will, in time, carry them to a place of peaceful solace.

To lose someone so young is the hardest loss, especially when he was a father, still so needed by his children. This must have been an awful grief for him, knowing that he was leaving life while his children are still growing up.

I carry them all in my heart and hope that I will be able to provide a little bit of comfort in the days ahead.