Arrangements were made throughout the week leading up to the service. As I was sitting at the kitchen table, I started writing the piece that would go in the paper. I then had the difficult task of picking a picture of his handsome face that would accompany it. It wasn’t that there weren’t any, it was because there were so many to pick from. He was SUCH a handsome guy!! How could I pick just one? I asked my son and daughter if they wanted to speak at the service. His best friend would speak and my son’s baby dog, a sweet loving pit bull name Leo, would be there as well. I would have it no other way. His girlfriend would pick his clothes and make sure that a piece of everything he loved and cherished would be with him…a smoke, his favorite cologne, a few dollars, his designer wallet and a love letter from her. My husband and my brothers would have the daunting task of going to the the funeral home. My job was not to fall apart.
The kids, my husband and my brother Mark, began working on a video slideshow of my son’s life. Pictures were gathered, videos were downloaded, songs were chosen. Memories of days gone by flooded our home and the sorrow of memories never to be, pierced through my heart like a jagged knife. Everyday, they gathered in the upstairs office, huddled around the computer. Every so often, the sound of laughter would trickle down the stairs. I would close my eyes, smile and let the laughter engulf me as a if my life depended on it. Sadly, the laughter was always short lived. It would quickly subside and the sound of heartbreak, grief and sorrow would overpower each of us, savagely bringing us to our knees.
I let each of them pick what they wanted to show on the video. This, after all, would be the last thing they would do for their beloved brother, nephew, son, love of her life….a tribute to someone who was selfishly torn away from them without a chance to say goodbye. I had nothing else to give them, no other comfort to offer them. All I asked was that they included the song Blessing’s by Laura Story. So often,I would turn to this song when I needed comfort, guidance or just a good cry. The lyrics always seemed to offer me hope…light…peace..there had never been a time when I needed these things more than during those days.
…”what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”…
I haven’t played it since that day. I hope that maybe one day, I will find comfort in the words again. For now, it reminds me of a time I never want to relive. How foolish I feel that I ever thought that my tears were blessings. What blessings are to come from the millions of tears I have shed from the loss of my firs born!? Incredibly, there is an irony to it. The last time I did hear it, could very easily be called a blessing by many.
We had around 25 songs playing in the foreground inside the chapel. Family and close friends gathered outside, waiting for the private viewing. I stood right outside the entry doors, trying to muster up the courage to enter the parish. I didn’t know what would be awaiting me on the other side. A few of my dear friends were surrounding me as I prepared myself to walk in. “Would you like to go in?” I asked a dear friend and her husband. I needed as much support as possible. As someone opened the doors for me and I stepped in, my heart stopped, my mind raced, yet time stood still. What was playing??? None other than Blessings!
“She’s going down! Catch her!” That is the all I remember.
Thank you, God…thank you son