The day I found out Kingston had died I was sitting on the front porch with dads ex. Dad had literally just pulled up home when we got the notification to ring back home. Aunty Fiona refused to tell me over the phone so I had to wait to tell dad to ring up himself. The exact moment I heard dad say, oh no, I feared for the worst and sure was.

My heart dropped when he told me the news. A shock to the system, a, no this isn't real, but it has to be real. I couldn't feel emotion for about 5 minutes. I went to my car, closed the door pumped the music and balled my eyes out. Music is a massive governing factor for my emotions. It can make or break me, cheer me and tear me down.

Anyway fast forward a couple days and I'm arriving in NZ still in disbelief of actually why I am landing. Get to Nan’s (uncle Matt's) house, and even under the circumstances, I was happy to see the family I haven't seen for such a long time. The only person I really wanted to see though was Eb’s. I searched and searched, finally finding her, shocked that she is smiling. Anyway that's how she wants to deal with it; I wasn't going to be the one dragging her down to reality. I was still in a stage of disbelief myself, in all honesty. Unfortunately that is when the hearse pulled up....BAM reality struck me like a semi-trailer.

My heart dropped, my legs nearly gave in, and my eyes just started flowing like the Huka falls. Carrying him into the house was one of the hardest things I’ve done. My palms were so sweaty. I felt so sick, so weak. My cousin is in there. GONE...LIFELESS. Someone I once looked up to (on the surface at least) with such positive vibes, always smiling, helping me and being protective of me whenever I was with him. Just gone.

Anyway focusing on the whole reason I'm supposed to be writing this. The way I dealt with the passing of Kingston was listening to upbeat music and just spending that time with family, trying to laugh and spend quality time while I can. We are living a life that is in a constant uncertainty of when it will end, and yet we are always planning for the future. This was the first death of a family member that I had experienced, and it really opened me up to the harsh and uncertain race we call life. It showed me that yes, it is important/good to strive for a better future, but that you also need to enjoy the present. Live life to the fullest because you only have one.

I may still be undecided about what I want out of this life, but I am sure of one thing. I want, no wait, NEED to strive to be the best that I can be. To strive for greatness. For success.

CousinClea Pettit