Thursday, April 22, 2010

Following days and funeral

Ok. I had decided to post on here once a day but, tonight I felt the need to “write” because I didn’t want to end the day on a sad note but rather on a positive one.

That Sunday was a very tough one to get through and reality hit me hard that morning. I got up and saw G in the kitchen. She asked me if I wanted a fresh cup of coffee. You would think that a simple question wouldn’t be that big of a deal but it was for me. Donovan always made coffee for us in the mornings and it’s like a part of me was expecting to see him there. Hello Reality! We did manage to have a birthday party of sorts for R and had a birthday cake but I don’t remember most of the details. In fact, most of that day was a blur of faces and tears and trying to remember to breath (otherwise I got a swift kick in the lungs). That Sunday was also difficult because Donovan was supposed to serve on the Lord’s Table that morning.

I do remember some people who came over that afternoon and each time, R would hide under the kitchen table. She never said anything or asked any questions. She just hid. The preacher came over first and he didn’t say anything at first. I know that it had to be difficult for him because he had married us back in Aug. ’01. He (like most of the members at church) had watched Donovan grow up as a teen. I learned later that the morning service that day was very difficult for everyone. Me, I just got through the day and focused on the baby and R.

I had also decided what the baby’s name would be. Donovan and I had decided on James (after his grandfather’s name) but hadn’t come up with a solid middle name. That day, I decided it would be Donovan. Sometimes, even now, I catch myself calling James – Donovan partly because he has the same kind of temperament as his daddy. At least J gets it honest. J

That Monday, I had to call my boss (I worked for U-Haul in customer service) that I wasn’t going to be coming into work for a while but I couldn’t get the words out so, K had to tell him. He also had to tell his family and my parents what had happened (even though none of us understood anything). I stayed in the room with him when he told everyone and we both broke down.

We also had to figure out when we were going to be getting the body from the morgue and when to have the funeral and who was going to be the pallbearer’s. Thankfully, K and G did the funeral aspect and we had decided that we need to have the funeral before Christmas (even if it was short notice). I picked out the pallbearer’s and am thankful that they were willing to help out. We also decided that the service was going to be congregational singing and yes, I still have some trouble with some of the songs but it is getting easier to singing some of them.

I don’t remember if it was the Wednesday of that week or then next when R finally asked where daddy was. We were still at K and G’s house and K was about to go to Bible class when R asked G and I were Donovan was. We pulled K in there and faced it as a family as best we could for a 5 yr old to understand. She still hid under the table in the kitchen but was starting to be confused on who was actually the boss of her. It all came to a boiling point when she didn’t want to wear what grandma wanted her to wear for church that morning and K stepped in and told her “As long as you’re under my roof, you’ll do as I say.” I had to step in and told both of them to step out of the room and I would take care of R. Thankfully, they backed off and then that Monday, we went home to stay. K and G spent the night because it was just a little tooo creepy for me but R was a happy little clam.

I’m a little ashamed to admit this but, I don’t remember what day was Donovan’s funeral or when the viewing was. I know there were a lot of people at the viewing (even though it was a closed casket) and am grateful for that. There are a few faces that stood out and that I still remember but most of it is a blur. R was over at the preacher’s house (Julie had taught her in Bible school that year so it made it easier) that night and over at the church building that morning. I didn’t want Donovan’s funeral to be at the church building because I didn’t want R to associate the building with Daddy’s funeral and I didn’t want the same association. That was where we got married and wanted to keep positive memories for me there.

We had put some pictures together for a video before the funeral and that was the first thing I saw before walking in from the waiting room. Actually it was a baby picture of Donovan and all I could think was “I’m not ready for this, I’m not ready for this”. In a way, no one is ready for the loss of a family member in whatever situation. We are creatures of habit and always want things to go on as they are instead of changing and having to let go. The choice we have is weather to go on and eventually let go or to hang on and end up being miserable. I started to turn and run the opposite direction to get away from it all but my dad and G were both guiding me in. I didn’t look at another picture and I don’t remember what was said. I do remember G asking me how many squares were on the floor and then telling her how many. Or how many of one kind of flower there were and telling her how many. It was a way for both us to get through the service without losing it. When it came time for everyone to file past us, I lost it and started hyperventilating. G just let me go because she was doing her hardest to be strong for me and for K. I do remember two men who came up and I recognized them from Donovan’s work. They were (as he called them) way upper management and both were emotionally shaken by the service. It hurt me to see them hurting like that and knowing what he meant to all lot of his co-workers.

Then I was supposed to walk out to the graveside and almost collapsed but thankfully my dad was there to physically hold me up. He told me to go ahead and take me home but I knew that I had to go through the burial as well because it wouldn’t seem really otherwise and I would regret this form of goodbye. Most of this was also a blur except for one instance.

One of the members from church came up afterwards with her 6 yr old son. She told me that Ethan had a special prayer for me and R which was very sweet and I’m thankful that she told me.

Eventually, my parents went back home and we stayed in our house. Then, I had to deal with my own mental / emotional “demons”. But that’s for another blog.


  1. I am so happy that you have chosen to share these joys and trials with us. You express them so well and it really puts me there with you. I know this will be very healing for you. I love you and your family and as always, keep you all in my prayers.

  2. This was a very good post, Carrie. I hope sharing these events will help with your healing. Sometimes just verbalizing your emotions makes things a lot clearer. The progress you've made in the last year and a half is amazing! Your children are doing great and you've shown us, that with God's help, we all have the ability to conquer our sorrows and move on with life! I look forward to reading your next post.