When I was much younger, my cousin had a baby. She was one of those lost kids, the kind the world takes a toll on, and in short order, her mom was raising her son. His name was Corey.

Back in the day, none of us really understood what FASD was but we’re pretty sure now that Corey had it. It was hard for Corey to fit in with us. He was the first second-cousin and much younger than all of us. We were jerky kids and not very good at integrating him into our visiting. But he was there and he was family.

Over the years I lost touch with Corey. He had a son of his own. He struggled with alcohol. The last time I remember seeing him was at another second cousin’s wedding. It was strange to see the little kid we used to play with as an adult. Where had the time gone?  Unfortunately,, he started drinking and before long, there was an incident, and he and others were embarrassed and angry.

That wedding happened maybe ten years ago. Corey once again slipped into the past. On my mom’s side, we were all fairly close as kids. But as people grow up, move away, start their own families… we lost track. No one is to blame. It just happens but it’s still sad. What’s even sadder is that in all the pictures I have, I can’t find one of Corey. He’s missing.

This morning, I received a call from my sister. My second cousin Corey was killed, murdered. Details are sketchy but the cause of death was massive head trauma. Like most families, ours has been touched by accidental death, by cancer, by old age. All death is a curse but this feels so much worse; evil.

My heart hurts. It hurts for a lost little boy born to a lost young woman. It hurts for a lost family member. It hurts for a man lost to alcohol. It hurts for my second cousin. His name was Corey.