Today we say farewell to a man who’s gone too soon… Kevin J. Forbes, my fiance’s cousin. He’s second from left in the photo above with the huge smile on his face. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without that contagious smile. I also hardly ever saw him without a chapeau.
Handsome group of men, huh? I referred to them as the Musketeers. Kenneth, my fiance, referred to them as “the fellas” and to Kevin as his brother and best friend. When he went out to “drink, smoke and talk shit” chances were that Kevin would be drinking, smoking and talking along with him. The first time I met Kevin, at Kenneth’s sister’s wedding, he told me that if Kenneth ever went missing all I had to do was look for him and that’s where Kenneth would be. That’s how close they were.
Almost every time we saw each other Kevin would give me a huge hug and thank me. “My cousin’s happy and smiling and I know it’s because of you”, he’d say and I’d promise to continue keeping Kenneth happy. It always touched me how his cousin’s happiness was so important to Kevin. Family was of utmost importance to him. You could hear the pride in his voice when talking of his children and his Facebook posts to and about his wife, Sharon, showed how much he loved her and how he didn’t take their marriage for granted.
Coincidentally, the last time I saw Kevin was at a wedding… he was Shawn’s best man. I joined the Musketeers (minus the groom) outside the reception hall to smoke and we talked about family, our children and the foolish things we did in our youths. His son came out to say that Sharon wanted to dance and Kevin immediately put out his cigar to go back inside and dance with his wife because “a happy wife makes a happy life”. Little did I know that it would be the last time especially when I promised to have him and Sharon over for dinner in the fall after Kevin asked when he’d get to try my cooking that Kenneth bragged about. As Kenneth and I left, Kevin once again hugged and thanked me for his cousin’s smiles and happiness.
It’s so unfair that death claimed Kevin at the age of 43. A fucking heart attack. I’m still in shock and Kenneth is absolutely devastated. They’d seen each other just days before and had planned to get together during Labor Day weekend. Sadness is all around.
Later today is the memorial service. I’m sure the church will be packed. Kevin’s life touched so many who will miss his smile, good humor and kind, loving personality. I’ll be at Kenneth’s side, mourning and comforting.
Kevin, you are missed and will be missed each and every day. Rest in peace until we meet again. Farewell for now.