Drug induced sleep, Mary to the airport, Jokes at the funeral home, and a poorly timed package.
- Sleep I woke up rested. After only 3 hours of sleep the prior 2 nights, I slept 8 hours thanks to my drug of choice: NyQuil. I started working on this Grief Journal. I might have no control over the grief, but at least I can write and release some of my feelings.
- Airport I got Mary to the Airport.
- We talked, and just before she left, she was looking around and sigh/crying at what Melissa had left. I stopped her, and wanted to wallow. So I said no, let's look around at how much of this house is Melissa. (What I see every time I look). I took her into Melissa's room and pointed out the Teddy Bear I gave her on our first date (I was her Martial Arts instructor), all her running medals, and around the house looking at the things that mattered to her. Which is everything from paint colors, or these three candles on our island that she re-decorates to match every season (still with hearts for Valentines day, or my broken one). We wallowed in the agony of grief, and left.
- I feel so much better that she's going home to commiserate with her Sisters. One of whom (Betsy) lost her Husband (Cousin Julie's Dad) just shy of their 50th Anniversary. And her Husband Bill was meeting them there -- so they could grieve together.
- Darst Funeral Home I don't know why, but I got to the funeral home I'd picked to sign papers on the cremation, and I was darkly on a roll. I'd talked to Libby the night before, and just liked her immediately. Their shy dog quicky adopted me (knowing a good person? Most animals love me back). So I sat signing papers and cracking dark jokes.
- We have to take her pacemaker out before we cremate her. (They explode). Do you want it?
- Me: Do you wash it first?
- Libby Laughing: Yes.
- Me: Then sure. It’s only a week old, I’m sure it’ll be worth something on the black market. "slightly used”. (I actually think it'll make a great momento).
- Libby: (Laughing)
- Me: How about the titanium rod through her tibia?
- Libby: that’ll remain after the cremation as well? Do you want it too?
- Me: Sure… I think I’ve got all I need to make a nice Melissa wind chime.
- Libby: (On the floor). I could feel Melissa's ghost kicking me under the table.
- Libby: Do you know her Social Security number?
- Me: (For some reason, it had popped into my head the night before. I rattled it off like it was my own.)
- Libby: Thank you, it's for the $250 death benefit that Social Security will send you in a few weeks?
- Me: $250? If I'd known that, I would have offed her a long time ago.
- Libby laughed like she's never heard that one before.
- Debi and a poorly timed package
- So I'm having a good long chat with Melissa's OLDEST friend Debi (She hates when I say it like that, instead of longest friend, which makes it funny), on the ride back from the Funeral home. Lots of reminiscing, reconsiling, healing and grieving.
- Debi is talking about all the cards Melissa loves to send... and I notice a card that I have to mail (to her friend Mandy) on the counter. And I mention it's the last card Melissa ever signed. We bawl.
- I mention it's mean to hit Mandy with that from beyond the grave, without warning. So I later called Mandy and warn her it's coming. But I am waiting for a package to arrive before sending it. (Melissa was asking about that daily, sometimes multiple times). And I notice a package had arrived. So I quickly open it, and was going to share a photo of it with Debi. Nope, it's something else.
- They were these running cards people put every mile along a course for inspiration to keep going. There were 14 cards (13 is a half marathon, and a finale). I was reading them to Debi thinking they came from Melissa's running group. I was bawling -- they were taken from my blog or knowing Melissa trial and were so dead on target. Then we got to Mile 8, and they went beyond where she had gotten to, and started talking about the future that had been taken from us. I finished them ugly crying.
- It was the sweetest, and cruelest gift I could have gotten. I will keep them. And probably share them at the memorial. Then I found the card that said, "Open me first", and realized it was from Melissa's newly found brother (Mark) and his wife Robin.
- Debi commented, imagine how bad they felt knowing they'd sent that, and that Melissa had passed before it got there. And it strengthened my resolve to let Mandy know something was coming, before ambushing her.
- Mark and Robin
- So I called Mark, thanked him, for the sweet-cruel gift. That was wonderful, inspirational, and poorly timed missile through my heart.
- He accepted the thanks, apologized, and we went on talking. And I was mentioning I was going to do a poll/RSVP to try to firm up between a few dates in April-June. He mentioned that April 9th was out because of Easter. And I quipped, that'll work if she's planning on coming back! We busted up.
- Then we were reminiscing on Melissa and relationships, her organizational skills, and our failures as spouses and I quipped, "to be fair, if I could walk on water, Melissa would complain that I tracked wet footprints on her tile". And we laughed. She does that when I come out of the pool and pad across the kitchen to my room.