I was never close to this particular cousin because he was way older than me and we rarely met and talked to each other, but my mom used to babysit him and during the last few years, she's been close to him and his family.
I've also heard lots of birth announcements this month in FB, so it's like a full circle of life...death announcements and birth announcements. Just imagine that somewhere in the world is grieving, whereas another one is rejoicing...someone is dying, another one is about to be born...
I went to my friend's husband funeral with another friend. It was a beautiful tribute, a celebration of life. During the car trip my friend and I talked about many different things, including friendship. What makes two people become friends? A common interest or a shared bond/role can help, but if the friendship doesn't develop any further than that, then it won't grow at all. You'll only get stuck at interacting at a certain level only.
This topic reminds me of a remark an emailpal once said to us when he met me and my friends. He said that we were all different, but yet we remained good friends. I think it's possible for different people to be friends as long as they're interested in each other's lives and they're investing (some time) into each other's lives. After all, one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood (Seneca).
I must admit that in the past I used to hold my friends (those closest to me) with a tight grip. Baaaddd idea! These days I've learnt to hold them with a gentle grip, cherishing the moment that they've spent with me, but I'm more ready to let them go.