The news of Russ Worthington's (Cousin Russ) sudden passing yesterday has shocked the entire genealogy community. I am shocked, saddened, and have a complete loss for the right words. As much as it hurts, I can't imagine the loss that his wife, his family, and his dear cousin - Pat Richley-Erickson (DearMYRTLE) must feel. When I think of Russ I think of kindness, helpfulness, humility, caring, and inspiration. His absence will be felt for a long time.
Today as I tried to find comfort, I first thought "he's in a better place now". Which I believe. But that phrase just doesn't dull the pain of loss.
And then I pondered about what I believed was one of Russ's life missions - to help people. Specifically to help us find our ancestors. That's what he was always doing. Whether he was co-hosting Mondays with Myrt, teaching classes at a genealogy conference, or speaking to our webinar audience, he couldn't help but find innovative ways to teach others. To help others. To care for others.
Will Cousin Russ "rest in peace"? He will absolutely have peace as he now finds himself in the arms of the Prince of Peace. But will Russ rest? I'm not so sure about that. After the many happy reunions he is no doubt experiencing, I'll bet he gets right back to work doing what he does best - helping others. My hunch is that, if what I believe is true, he'll even be helping those of us, here, to find our ancestors - through a soft whisper or even an idea put in our minds.
Thank you Russ. Until we meet again.