Design Your Beautiful Life Coaching 

-Texts from Heaven 



I felt a funeral in my Brain - A journey through grief (13)

Posted on March 22, 2016 at 10:50 AM

I’m laying here in my bed staring at the clock, eyes swollen from last nights’ tears and head pounding. Today is Dereks’ funeral, I know I need to get up and get the children ready. I know we need to do this today but I feel like curling up in a ball and hiding here all day. I dread the service, seeing his casket being wheeled into the church as I have so many loved ones before. Knowing I won’t see him after today. I know what it was like for me losing my parents as an adult and the thought of my small children experiencing their fathers’ funeral today makes me feel physically ill. My mind is racing, how will they react, will they sit quietly through the service, what can I do to help them cope today? A small voice entering the room pulls me from my inner chaos, “good morning mommy”. Nicholas climbs into my bed and curls up beside me. His chubby red cheeks, blond hair and big blue eyes seem to light up the room. I snuggle him to me and kiss his head as he whispers “ I love you Mommy”. “ I love you too Nickel” I whisper back and mean it more than he could ever know. That little boy has perfect timing and has just given me the motivation I needed to make it through this day.

We arrive at the funeral parlor to say our final goodbyes before the casket is closed and transported to the church. I look at the older children as we enter, all very well dressed and composed. Then to Anna who’s sound asleep in her carrier which seems heavier to me today than ever before. This place makes the older children uncomfortable and they cling to my side. I explain why we’re here and what will happen next. We enter the room with Derek and say a prayer then each say our goodbyes. My heart is breaking and I want to scream but I maintain the same blank composure that has become my new normal. I console the children, who are now softly crying as we make our way back to the lobby. The room is now full of firefighters and funeral personnel. “The firetrucks are ready mam if we are okay to proceed” one of them mutters as he approaches. I give my permission and a large portion of them move to the other room. Troy offers to carry Anna for me and says we can ride in Dereks’ engine over to the church if we’d like. I turn to the children to gage their reaction then quickly agree to the transportation offered. We are then escorted outside, its freezing and we can see every breath we take. I pull the children a bit closer in an attempt to keep them warmer. There are multiple firetrucks lined up along main street, behind them several rows of firefighters preparing to walk the procession and following them many cars which have gathered for the procession as well. Hollis Engine 2 sits idling first in line at the end of the ramp. We move off to the side as Dereks’ casket is carried out by his friends in full formal firefighter attire. We watch as they place the casket atop the engine then all mount the step sides for the drive. We are then led into the cab of Engine 2 which Bo is driving. He looks at me knowingly and quietly says “you’ve got this”. He helps us in and pulls Matt close so he can get a good view on our ride. The procession to the church leads us past Fairfield Fire Department which has Dereks’ gear and helmets from Hollis, Waterville and Fairfield displayed across the entrance with someone standing guard. I drift off for a moment, moved by the level of support and respect from his fellow firefighters and hope that Derek sees the now obvious impression he made. As the engine halts I realize we have arrived. We wait for Derek to be carried into the entry way first and then we enter the church. We stand beside the casket like statues as all of the attendees walk past us. I watch their faces as they pass, many crying hysterically, others cheeks wet while silent tears roll past and yet others dry eyed looking at us with pity like some sort of side show. I look at the silent children beside me their faces dry except for an occasional tear which is quickly wiped away. I see their pain through their stoic gazes and that brings a tear to my eye. I instantly quell all emotion and regain focus. After everyone has been seated we follow the casket to the front of the church and are seated directly beside it. I’m pleased the see the priest that Derek liked is the one that will be doing todays mass. He’s vibrant and loud which is probably why Derek liked him so much. He does a really good job describing Derek and the service itself goes very smoothly. The children, including the baby, remain silent throughout the entire mass. I place my hand on his casket as it is being removed from the church hoping to feel something from him even a glimmer of the wonderful energy he always brought into the room. But he’s not there, not in that box and no longer in that body. I feel nothing but the now resident sinking feeling deep down in my chest. We arrive home to what seems like truckloads of flowers being dropped off from the funeral parlor. All the flower arrangements that had surrounded his casket were now in my living room. The funeral director has a painting in hand that they had done of Derek which he gives me as a gift. He comments on the behavior of the children saying he has never seen that before well except on film of Kennedys funeral. That I should be proud of them and how well I’ve raised them thus far. His words fall empty on me as I thank him and take the painting from his hands. I switch a painting in the living room with the one I was just given and thank him again as he leaves. In an effort to stay busy and make space I start arranging the flowers on the front porch. Within moments others are helping me do so as well. The flowers are everywhere hanging on the railings, from the pillars along the floor boards. It’s done and I’m exhausted. My niece offers to watch the children if I want to go lay down for a bit. I gladly accepted that offer and head to my room. As I close the door behind me I lean back against it and slide to the floor. Tears flow like a river from my eyes and the pit in my stomach seems to swell. I climb up onto my bed and curl up under the covers rocking myself gently praying for sleep. As my prayers are answered I see Derek. He’s reprimanding me for putting the flowers on the porch. We live on a main road and he’s saying it’s like putting a sign up that the man of the house died and welcoming predators. I feel as if I’ve been startled awake and my very brief nap is now over. The reprimand from my dream still fresh in my mind I head downstairs and directly outside. My family looks on perplexed as I begin to bring all the flowers back inside. I’m sure they think I’ve lost my mind. I reluctantly offer my explanation to them and they assist me in my chore.


Categories: A Journey Through Grief

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