A couple of days has passed since we buried you. I finally feel up to writing something. Please forgive me for waiting. Please forgive me for being sporadic in the future. I have a lot of figuring out to do. I don't know who I am without you. I know that comment would make you mad, but it is true, nonetheless.
Friday was your visitation. Grant woke in the morning and immediately went and dressed in "church clothes." He came out in a polo shirt and nice pants - AND A TIE. You would have laughed. Did you? Can you see us? I have so many questions. Anyway, I told him he looked handsome and didn't need the tie. He said, "I thought I would wear a tie today." So, we got a button up and put his tie on. He looked so handsome.
Do you see how he had to have your cane close by? Anything to hold on to more of you.
We were all so nervous all morning. Then I saw you. I couldn't believe what I saw. You looked 15 years older. It didn't look anything like you. I was mad at first. I just wanted to see you again - one last time. I wanted to hold your hand. You were so cold and your flesh was so hard. It was terrible. It was then that I realized your soul is what made you beautiful. The soul gave your body life. Your soul brought a constant smile to your face. Your soul was gone and your body lied in front of me. It made it easier for me.
However, I think it was harder on our boys. They hadn't seen you since Saturday morning. I still think that was what was best for them because you could not carry on a conversation on Sunday, and on Monday you were in a terrifying state with the seizures before you passed in the wee hours on Tuesday. Still, when they saw you, you didn't look anything like their Daddy. They had a lot of questions about bodies and death, yet they did not appear sad.
Then we drove home for a couple hours before heading back for the official visitation for the public. Grant cried the whole way home stating how he missed you. It melted me. Did you feel the sadness? Is there sadness in heaven? I pray not.
Gavin asked questions all day: "Why can't we see his feet?" "What would happen if we opened his eyes?" "Why is he so cold?" "Where is his blood?" - all the things that are legit questions, but taboo to ask. You would have loved his piqued curiosity at the situation.
Gavin went swimming for the rest of the evening with relatives. Grant stayed in a chair by my side being held by various relatives crying and sleeping the entire evening.
Over 600 people attended the visitation and/or funeral services. Did you see them? Were you proud of who you were and the impact you had on lives? I was. Is pride a sin in heaven? I know the apostle Paul talks about none being able to boast.
The funeral service on Saturday was awesome. The music was amazing. We had the bagpipes you requested. Do you remember when you told me bagpipes would be cool at your funeral? We delivered. He was 83 years old and he didn't quite have enough wind. I personally thought he was flat and awful and it made me laugh inside. I think you would have made some crass comment if you would have heard him.
Michael and Sean, your beloved brothers, gave a heartfelt eulogy. Your best friend, John, also gave a humorous and dead on eulogy. One that compared your life to a game of Euchre. There was lots of Euchre played in your honor this weekend.
Kara played the piano and sang. It was beautiful. She sang I'll Fly Away and I Can Only Imagine. Kara's Dad sang Danny Boy and I'll Walk with God. I don't think there were dry eyes in the place. It was remarkable. The programs - OH MY THE PROGRAMS. They were incredible - beautiful, Irish, some art from the boys, pictures of you, a family picture. Just amazing.
The boys fidgeted and sort of fought during the entire service. They are 6 and 7 and that is exactly normal. Did you hear Gavin trying to explain about why leprechauns are real during the eulogy. I was laughing in my heart knowing that you would giggle at the irony of leprechaun talk during such a beautiful and serious moment.
We had lunch at Northwoods church after. It was so perfect. The caterer had 4 plates remaining after all were served. We guessed. I guess we guessed correctly.
Your parents had a party that afternoon and into the wee hours of the morning. Your Dad called it an Irish Wake. I call it a perfect party. Did you talk with God about the weather? Did you know that well over a hundred people would continue to celebrate you at your parents house? It was supposed to be low 50's and cloudy/rainy. It was just over 60 degrees and wonderfully sunny. Our friends supplied the food. Our family supplied the beer. Your friends and family supplied the fun. It was perfect. It was exactly as you would have wanted it.
We had to celebrate our first milestone today without you. Today is my birthday. I know you know that. The thing is, if you were still on earth, I am not sure you would have known that. I know you would have had help remembering it. I was surrounded this morning for several hours with friends and family for breakfast. Tonight I am going out with girlfriends. We are going someplace where I have no memories with you. I don't think I could bear it. I know you understand.
I miss you, Brian. I love you.