Just like that, it’s over. The hard, awful week. Her funeral was today. I feel overall it went well. As well as a funeral can go. It’s the aftermath I’m scared of. The feuding over who gets what. Who goes where. How these teenagers will continue to be raised. The pain that will still exist when the dust settles and the guests have left.
Somehow, I ended up helping with the family home meal for last night after the private viewing. Helping turned into doing the final perfectionism items to have a perfect meal ready when the viewing was over and the family, extended family, friends and pastor arrived. I made the desserts. A friend made pulled pork and two other friends made salads. It was to be a drop and go but I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave the house dirty. Cluttered. Dog hair everywhere. Dogs everywhere. Nowhere to put stuff. How would they find it. The pulled pork wasn’t hot. So, I simply smiled and said to go – Then I cooked, wiped, scrubbed, tidied. Locked dogs away. Set up a beautiful buffet. Did dishes. Found Alexa, plugged her in and began Christmas music. It was perfect as I sat down and they arrived home. Perfect. I hope someone would do the same for me. Please don’t let my guests see two inches of dog hair on my counter when they come to share my memories. Please. Her husband was so thankful. I politely told him I wasn’t sure if Christmas music was appropriate but I felt his wife would approve and he could shut it off or I could. He replied she loved Christmas music and it was perfect. Cue – Another soul shattering hug.
Today I was late – Oh so late. I barely accomplished my work. Barely got ready. Made it to the funeral home. And….. Let the tears roll. She looked great. Peaceful. Sleeping. You couldn’t tell she’d spent over 41 days fighting COVID for her life. They hid it wonderfully. Everything was set up. Nicely. Beautifully. Painfully well.
We shouldn’t have to be there. Someone with so many years left shouldn’t have to die. Why? She wore her mask. She followed the rules. It doesn’t matter. Honestly, it doesn’t. This awful virus strikes like lightening. It randomly chooses and it latches onto you and tears you apart. Fully. Completely. Endlessly. Some walk away with nothing. Others never walk away. Why? It makes little sense. In her case she should have went in sooner. Faster. Earlier. Maybe it would have helped. Maybe not. But this shit sure doesn’t discriminate and it sure doesn’t care if you wore a mask. Obviously.
The picture show was the best but worst. Isn’t this always the case? I was amazed I didn’t email any to the family, yet still made the slide show. Which equaled more tears. Never-ending tears. They played sooooo many songs. Why do songs make you cry more? I can do words. I can listen to the pastor ramble. But songs. Songs. Pictures. Bawling. One picture we were sharing an umbrella – Thank god she has one at that cold, freezing, raining double header baseball game. She saved my ass more than once. Then I thought – Who’s going to save my ass when it rains again? Seriously, my friend with the umbrella is gone. Forever.
Hey – Friend – Do me a favor – Never let it rain when I’m outside for sports. I need you to be my umbrella. Forever. Because nobody else on this planet will remember one for me. Also – I need you to be my blanket AND keep me warm for the days I forget mine. Because again, nobody will have an ugly bronco option for my rushed, forgetfulness. Next up – On the days I don’t have money or I’m running late – Can you make the donuts free? Because I’m going to forget to feed my kid sometime and you won’t be here to give him a $1 and he won’t tell me it’s okay because you handled it. And cheer – loud – Because now my section will be silent. And I don’t know if I can cheer like you. Ever. I’m not asking for much. Just the shit you did on earth – But now I hope you can magically do it from the sky!
In return, I’ll always give your kids a ride when they need one. You don’t even have to ask. Because I know you’re really stuck now more than ever and don’t have an option. (Did you give that man upstairs a lecture about how stuck he made you? I hope he had a good answer for you.) I won’t miss any great activities. Even the ones I don’t want to go to. Because I’ll be there. For you. And for me. Tho I’m sad I won’t have you there to sit with or gossip with or have explain the games to me. I’ll love your kids. Attitudes and all. I’d say I’d smack them for you. But I’m not sure I’ll do it right – Maybe teach me? Your oldest. He’s sure going to try. So I supposed he can teach the slaps and I’ll just do some backups – like how to buy prom dresses, lecture girls, that kind of stuff. And loving your oldest because someday he’s going to break. He needs to break. But I won’t let him fall, we will break and then move. One foot at a time.
It’ll never be the same but I promise we will figure it out. For you. Because when it’s all said and done I know you’d want your kids loved, your fur babies loved, your husband loved (in a non inappropriate way. Ha.) and your memory loved.
It won’t be easy, but you’ll be proud. I love you and my gosh I’m going to miss you.