The Funeral is Over, Now What?…

Originally posted~Thursday, April, 30th, 2009

The first few days after the funeral were strange to say the least. I guess you could call them the first days without Heather. What I mean is the celebration of her life was over and now we have to begin to move forward. We were so busy preparing for the funeral we had things to occupy our minds and keep us busy. Now we had nothing to do but sit and stare and wonder how we carry on without her.

Most people felt it was good to let the family have some time alone and to themselves after a death. I was asking that everyone kept calling, texting and emailing. I needed to hear from my friends. I had changed since Heather died, but deep down inside I was still the same person. I might not feel like talking at that moment but if they left me a message I would get back to them and at least I would know they were still there for me. Sometimes I just knew if I picked up the phone I would burst into tears and not be able to utter a word. I asked that my friends talk to me, hug me as I cry, hold my hand or simply sit in silence and just let me know they were there for me. But I needed them to realize that I did not have to be hugged all the time and I would not explode if they let go. I wanted to talk about Heather, she was not a bad subject and she was not off limits. I wanted to hear everyone’s stories and memories of my daughter.

I had a dear friend, Carla, call me that Monday after the funeral. She told me right away she did not want to call, but knew if she didn’t she never would. She began with I have no words to say, but wanted you to know I am thinking of you. That was all I needed to hear and from that moment on it has been very easy for both of us to talk and share our feelings.

As soon as I laid down at night to sleep my mind raced back to all the events of the last month before Heather died. It seemed to help my mind to shut down if I took Ambien sleeping pills and then listened to music. But this did not stop my mind from thinking about Heather for very long. Bill described it this way; from the moment we wake up until the moment we drift to sleep there was a little woodpecker beating at our heads every millisecond saying HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER!!! It never stopped. It was there no matter what. I could not get my mind to think about anything other than my daughter was dead. How could that have happened? This was not my life! I did not ask for this! I did not want this! I just wanted to be “normal” again, but that was never going to happen.

What would I do with my days now that Bill, Jenn and Wendy all went back to work? Would it be me and my granddaughter, Violet in the house or just me alone? I walked around the house room to room thinking about how I needed to clean up stuff, but did not have the energy to do it. I wanted to begin a million projects, but still had no energy to do those either. We managed to get Heather’s room packed and cleaned out. I saved all of her things and would go through them at a much later date. My “Lil Pea” or Violet, moved into her Aunt Missy’s room. I put up Heather’s two “Nutt Brown Hare” prints I had matted and framed for her. I watered all the flowers we received from the funeral and then rearranged them into different vases as they slowly died. It was something that kept me busy.

Interesting twist of things today I had a doctor’s appointment to get some sleeping aids. Sleeping is tough right now. So I get a call from the doctor’s office saying that MY medical insurance was terminated on the 21ST. So I called. Guess what—they terminated MY insurance instead of Heather’s. They told me that it was probably because the new policy would take effect tomorrow. I told them no…it was probably because the fact that my 21 year old daughter died on the 20th. Stone silence on the other end of the phone. They checked and sure enough, they cancelled the wrong insurance. Imagine that. Amazing that mistake gets made every day.

Yesterday, Bill and I picked up Heather and brought her ashes home. Sounds strange I know. It was not as emotional as we thought it would be. First Christian brought us the necklaces (the ones each of us got with some of Heather’s ashes in them). They were beautiful. Then he brought out the heart shaped box with Heather in it and placed it on the desk. Finally, he brought us the wooden box with the crystal rose in it. It was breath taking. It has some of Heather’s ashes in the base of the box. The rose box was so beautiful in fact that Christian is going to get a display one for other people to possibly make it a choice for them as well. It was a sad moment and I figured we would be sobbing, not sure why but neither one of us cried.

PHOTO~The heart shaped box that held most all of Heather’s ashes, her tiara from the ball on top of it. The lighted rose box that held a portion of ashes for a keepsake and the willow angel of being victorious over cancer

One thought on “The Funeral is Over, Now What?…

  1. Julie M Calathes

    I am so sorry you had to go through the loss of Heather. I think of her often too. You’re an amazing Mom and Mimi, and I love you tons!


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