Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.
I made it back to the cottage where we were staying in one piece. I wanted to scream my guts out, but I knew I’d never stop. I had kids to take care of and a house to pack. I sent both kids to the shower and then told them to start packing their rooms. The fridge was full of food and two expensive bottles of wine Broch’s boss sent with us. I kept fighting back my tears–I knew I had to keep it together for a little while longer. Finally, Broch’s cousins showed up and I did a total meltdown.
It seemed like forever trying to get out of the cottage. We finally had everything packed with the much-needed help from Greg and Louise. Greg wanted Joshua to ride with him, and for me to ride with Louise. Perhaps it was to allow me to continue my meltdown and to talk privately with Louise. At one point, Joshua insisted on getting in the car with me. It took forever to get back home.
We were five minutes away from home and I started having a panic attack thinking about everyone that would be at our house. And I was correct, there was a house full of relatives waiting on us. My mother was there and appeared to be heartbroken, and hugged me! It was the first time I ever remember the woman hugging me. I expected it to feel rough and hard, but she was just soft and smooshy. Strange how hard that hit me at that particular part.
Everyone was totally devastated and wanting to ease our pain. But, there was no easing it. We had plenty stay over with us, and the next morning I had to go to the funeral home. How difficult it was to go to the funeral home and hear the funeral director talk of Broch in the past tense. I hated picking out a casket, a vault, etc.; but, it would be the last thing I would do for my husband.
Joshua was afraid to go to the funeral home and see his father–he flatly refused to go. And I knew why. I pulled him to me and said son, “Your Dad is not going to look like he did the last time you saw him in the clinic. He was black, purple and blue because he had no oxygen to breathe. At funeral homes, that’s what they do is take those ugly colors away and your Dad will look just like he’s sleeping. It was difficult, but I finally convinced him to go. I’m glad he went because I didn’t want the clinic scene to be the last way he remembered his Dad.
There were people everyone at the funeral home and all I could do was to cry. Our pastor and his wife stood at the coffin and greeted people and they placed me in a room in the back of the funeral home. Some of our closest friends came back to see me, and I wasn’t able to talk to any of them for crying.
I decided it would be best for all concerned to have just one visitation and then the funeral the next day. I had his funeral at the church we attended; which was a big downtown church. Every seat was taken and people were standing. The funeral went on for too long; the pastor had opened the floor for people to say something if they felt so inclined. Lots of people stood up and talked about Broch and what he had done in their lives. It was touching, but also heart-wrenching.
It finally ended and we headed toward the cemetery. By the time it was over, I just wanted to be alone and cry. But, we had a huge lunch for everyone that went to the cemetery. And some people stayed too long, but were trying so hard to comfort me and I was grateful for their love and support.