I woke up very early Saturday. Ken came over and picked me up and we went to the funeral home, and our friend Sue came with us. She is an old friend from way back, and Ken’s high school girlfriend…a sweet, fun, beautiful girl. I’m glad I know her. We decided we would drive Andy’s BMW, his pride and joy, to the funeral home/funeral. We also decided we would play whatever cd was in the stereo. Of course it was rap, and we laughed about that.
I spent a long time just standing by Andy, trying to memorize his face, not that I could ever forget that beautiful face. But I memorized it just the same. I talked to him and whispered in his ear that I loved him and thanked him for being the best thing that ever happened to me or ever would. I told him to be happy and that I would do my best to take care of things down here and make him proud. Ken and I put a few trinkets in his casket that held precious memories for us. I hugged him, said goodbye, and saw my sunshine’s face for the last time. I felt that my heart was being ripped from my chest.
We went outside and watched and waited as they loaded our beloved son into the hearse. Then we followed them to the church and listened to rap music on the way. We met Andy’s closest friends and my brothers who were all his pall bearers outside the church. My heart was so heavy for his friends. We greeted people as they walked in as best we could. Then the pall bearers carried Andy into the entryway and Ken and I stood behind the casket. I think music started playing, but I’m not really sure. And then we walked down the aisle with our boy. I had to keep my head down. This was a most profound moment for me, and I didn’t want to look at or see anyone. This moment was for me and Andy alone. The service was beautiful and majestic. Our friend Eric read our tributes for us. I am so grateful to him for doing that for us. I didn’t cry during the service. I listened to and heard every word.
When it was over, we followed Andy back out. I was very strong during the funeral, but something about walking out of the church was so final. I kept my eyes down, but broke down and cried when we got close to the door. Ken put his arm around me and was a rock for me. The bells were ringing. It was a beautiful but incredibly melancholy sound. We waited and cried on the grass while everyone exited the church. Since the funeral and cemetery were downtown, traffic and directions were going to be tricky for people so we had to stand there waiting until everyone got out so they could follow through downtown to the cemetery. So there I stood, crying, the bells ringing, and everyone waiting outside the church. I looked up and I only remember seeing 2 people…my current manager and my previous manager, 2 strong, compassionate women. Maybe I was looking to them to tell me ‘what do I do now?’ because I sure didn’t know how I could go on.
We all piled into our cars while the funeral director directed the traffic. I remember being concerned that she was going to get hit by a car. We followed the hearse to the cemetery, and yes, the rap was still playing. We all gathered at the graveside. Father Bill said a few words. My friend Gail read some beautiful memories of Andy. She was crying. I was not. I felt concerned for her and was silently cheering her on. She did a wonderful job. I even laughed a couple times. A few more words from Father Bill, and it was over. Back to my house for the “party”.