I am sitting here this morning feeling like I need to document these days for myself because I am in such a fog of grief that I can’t remember what happened yesterday, let alone last week.
The first week after Brian died was a blur with all that had to be done. Funerals are tough business, and I do mean business. Between the funeral home and the cemetery, all of the arrangements felt very impersonal and cold to me. I understand that there are rules and laws and stipulations that require adherence, but there was no empathy. At least not that I could feel in those moments. It was just, “so sorry for your loss, now here is the bill and I need the money right now or we can’t move forward.” But who wants to move forward? I can’t move at all, and if I could it would be backward, way, way backward to where I had Brian and we were a family and he was the husband and father we loved.
This is mostly grief speaking. And I know there was empathy, but I imagine, in that line of work, like nursing, there has to be a sort of separation. Getting too emotionally invested is blinding.
Still there has to be a way to make that entire process better for grieving families. I am thinking about it. My first idea is to offer freelance obituary writing. I know I can do so much better there. Brian’s first draft read like biographical Mad Libs. I couldn’t have expected the funeral home to do any better than that. They didn’t know him and they didn’t take the time, but I definitely took great care in fixing all of the typos and adding some personal touches. I feel like I could have done a lot better, but I just was so overwhelmed with everything. Its crazy, but I feel like I could write really good obits. I would just take the time with the family, look at pictures, listen to stories, and then write something that felt like it was about their person instead of just filling in blanks on a form. I’ve never called myself a writer, but maybe I am. And maybe I write great obituaries. Hit me up when your person dies.
Brian’s services were Thursday and Friday. The visitation was a great comfort to me. I got to meet some people that Brian worked with and I heard so many stories about the impact that he had on people. And I felt so much support and love from people in my life. Coworkers, lifelong friends, teachers, so many people came to help share my heavy burden.
Friday, it snowed. Ethne and I have a tradition of going out to play in the first snow. I can’t believe this year it happened on November, 9th and the day we laid Brian to rest. The church service was really nice. I wish I had a recording of it. Leonard’s eulogy was perfect and Adrianne’s tribute was so heartfelt and really captured the Brian we all knew and loved. I was able to give a reading from our beloved Little Prince, and the music of Bach and Brian’s favorite hymns filled the chapel. I felt very rushed out by the funeral director. I know there were people at the church who did not come to the burial and I wanted to properly thank everyone who came, but I didn’t have the chance and for that I apologize. I was so grateful that Matthew was able to dedicate the grave. It was cold and late in the afternoon so we didn’t linger long at the cemetery. As I made my way back to the car, I kept looking for Brian. I felt very alone in that moment. I know I was surrounded by people and love, it just wasn’t the same. Brian and I didn’t have a perfect life or a perfect marriage, but he is the one I chose and it hurts to be separated from him. (That entire last sentence is full of understatements).
Elliot is awake so I will pick this up later. Maybe in 18 years…