I had spent the night at my parents after our visit to the hospital, we had a few visitors and I had talked to my sister for sometime and filled her in on the hospital visit and the information I had obtained, she obviously was worried and had more questions that I had answers for, I assured her, even though I was not, that it would all be fine and we would know more on Tuesday.
I had a conversation with my parents this morning, this day of the viewing that I was not going to take David and I would be going home tonight and taking him with me as well as leaving him there tomorrow for the burial services with Julie, I did not think he needed to be "handled" with all the people we would have over afterwards, my dad got it, my mom did not, she let me know that it was not proper and that I had no reason to keep him away from friends and family who wanted to see him. It was an argument I was standing firm yet one I was not going to continue to have with her, I got my dad's approval and that was all I needed. I had my girl's bring me down clothes for the viewing and they came early of course to spend some time with David, they both sat in his room for the longest time with him and my oldest offered as the viewing was for the first hour for family and very close friends, then the last hour was for the "general public" as my dad referred to it, she would go to the viewing then come right back and sit with David while I went and also had the task of speaking to the preacher on what would be said and who would talk at the services the following day, oh joy!
We all got ready, waited for my sister then got the call she would meet us there, so we all left once my daughter got to the house from saying her final good-byes, she was very emotional and was not too talkative, I was not looking forward to this evening at all, I was numb and just going through the motions, for lack of better words. We arrived and were greeted by family outside the mortuary, the director came out as well as the preacher and told us we would have as much time as needed to be with her before they allowed anyone else inside. My dad grabbed my mom's arms and they walked in, I followed as well as my youngest daughter, my parents did not go all the way to the casket, they stopped short and sat on the front bench, I stopped for a moment and walked up shortly after my daughter did. She started to cry and call her name, I went to grab for her and she ran out, I then looked inside the casket and I saw death, harsh I know, but I lived this with her, in the hospital, a part of me died the day she died and all I wanted to do was climb inside that casket with her and hold her, be with her and never leave her side again. I lost it, I fell to my knees and my dad came over to me, my cousin helped me up and they stood with me while I had a break down, I asked, yelled WHY, I begged for her to wake up, I tried to look away, I couldn't I kept staring at her face, I was looking for some sign of life, some movement, I had seen this in the hospital, she would do this then respond to me when I called her name, my dad walked me over to the bench, my daughter came in and knelt at me feet and sobbed as I now held her, this was awful, I was a mess, plain and simple!
It took me several minutes to compose myself, I looked over at my mom, totally stone-faced and at this time my sister had arrived with her family and the room was starting to fill up with family and friends. I jumped up and began to greet everyone and thank them all for coming, shortly after that my parents left, it was obviously too much for them to handle, they had been here 20 short minutes.
I was summoned into the preachers office and we had a short chat on what we wanted said and who would be speaking tomorrow at the service, it was a short meeting and then I walked back out into the room, this time I took the route of the front entrance and looked at the pictures they had set-up and looked at the book to see whom had come and who had signed in, she was very loved and the support of family and friends was overwhelmingly apparent. The hour went by quickly and before I knew it, most of the family was gone and then as I tried to wrap things up, the general public started to arrive and there was a line out the door, including some very long time family friends and of course I acknowledged them as they gave me their sincerest condolences as they entered the viewing room. I was trying to get home to my girl's and David, it took me literally almost an extra 30 minutes to do so.
I finally made it to my car, I was exhausted, mentally and physically, I'm not even sure how I made it back to my parents house clear across town. There were a lot of people at the house when I got there and I made a straight line to the bedroom where I found my daughter sitting, holding the baby, she had not put him down since I had left, she looked at me and just cried, I grabbed him and sat next to her, I held him tight and I spoke to him in Portuguese and before I knew it his room was filled with my mom, my aunt, my youngest daughter and my sister, there was not a dry eye in the house.
I visited for a little bit after that and then said my good-byes and headed home, tomorrow was going to be a difficult challenge and I was truly not looking forward to ANY part of it, well, like ANY of us were, it still seemed like a bad bad bad dream that could stop anytime now.