Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The funeral prep and all those damned decisions

When Scotty passed away, I lay in bed for two days.
My kids were doing who knows what.
I lay curled up inside Scott's hoodie, buried in the bed.
It had the smell of his cologne natural musk in it still.
I was letting everyone else around me take care of the children, take care of travel arrangements for family coming to his funeral, take care of phone calls, and visitors.
I could hear everyone talking about me; most of the time I was right in the same room.
I didn't care.
Every time I would start sobbing, my dad would hand me a xanex.
I obediently swallowed them without question and allow myself to be numb.
It was a small reprieve.
On Sunday, I had to go the funeral home to make all of the burial/funeral arrangements.
Scott and I had never talked about our wishes if one of us were to die.
I guess we figured we had time to make those kind of plans.
I do remember forcing him to swear he would never remarry and would spend the remainder of his days pining for me if I were to go first.
That conversation proved to be less than helpful.
Scott was 34.
We had no life insurance, or any medical insurance.
We had been students and therefore owned nothing of any value.
Funerals are expensive.
So are medical bills.
And you are expected to pony up and pay right away.
My sister, dad, step mom, and best friend came with me to the funeral home to help me sort out all the details.
We had to come up with a service program, flower arrangements, burial plot/location, and then I had to go in the room with all the teeny baby coffins to select a casket.
I just wanted to huddle in the corner.
It was the most distressing decision.
Do I pick a really expensive one because I love him and don't want to be a cheapskate?
Does it make sense to choose an overpriced casket when I believe that it is a temporary refuge designed to harbor our bodies until the resurrection?
Can I just go outside and throw myself into traffic?
Because frankly that seemed like a more appealing option.

^^ My daughter, Ryan. No, that is not her hair. Yes, she insisted on wearing this tremendous hat to school every day.^^
My very practical friend steered me toward the more affordable options and we made a decision.
It was exactly what I needed.
Someone who knew me and Scott well enough to help me make those really hard decisions without fuss.
After settling all the other preparations, I wiped my eyes only to find myself staring at a hefty bill, which my dad quietly paid until I could sort out my financial situation.
Speaking of which, my most thoughtful cousin and grandfather-in-law ended up splitting the check and covering the funeral arrangements when it all shook out.
If there were ever a way to thank two people in an appropriate measure for something so big, so significant to me, well I just don't know what it is.
A thank you card hardly does this generous act any justice.
Zak, Grandpa Bob, thank you from every single bone in my body for what you did.
It can never be said enough.
I went home drained and sat down at the computer to write his eulogy.
I had to.
How could I not speak at his funeral?
I knew him the best. Loved him the hardest. Shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears over that man.
Maybe not blood.
I wanted him to hear what I had to say. I wanted him to know how much he was loved.
How much I would miss him.
How unfunny I thought he was and how much of a nerd he had turned out to be.
So I stayed up until 2 a.m. writing that damn thing.
Then I got a wild hair and cleaned out my closet.
By then my eyes looked even more swollen and asian than normal.
It was a long couple of days.
It never really ends.
It just goes on and you can never escape.
But the service was lovely.
That'll be next.

1 comment:

  1. I love your writing. I am so glad to hear your thoughts and your strength. I think about you all the time. I am so glad to have you as a friend.