Three days after Andrew’s death, a year ago today, with my husband and daughter in charge, we went to the funeral home to choose a casket.
That done, we went to the Church where the funeral was going to be held, to finalize the details of the service.
Other than wanting the service to start with the sacred syllable Om being chanted three times, and to have two particular Bhajans (Hindu devotional songs) to be sung by my Amma friends, I gratefully let Florentina, Hugh and the Pastor take care of everything else
“How many people do you expect?” asked the Pastor.
I have no idea, I thought in my semi comatose state.
“A couple of hundred?” said my husband.
“I think there’ll be more,” said Nora, the Pastor.
I was tired, I was confused, I was incredulous, I didn’t really believe any of what was going on.
People, food and flowers kept coming, and my mother, my older brother, and my favorite cousin were arriving from Italy in the evening.
Bending down to pick up a card, I put my back out so badly, that I had to use crutches to get up from bed or from a sitting position.
I walked around literally doubled over in pain, every level of pain.
My body, my heart, my soul, my skin – I had been ripped apart and slammed together again, but I was hemorrhaging from everywhere.
And still, I stayed alive all through this. How is it possible?
No bullet could have injured me more, no dynamite could have ripped me apart more than my son’s death did.
But I am here.
A year has passed, and though Andrew is not, I am still here. And another year without Andrew lies ahead of me.