For better understanding you may want to read About This Blog first.
I’m the organizer between Rhonda and myself so I took the reins in getting the ball in motion for all the work needed to be done to lay Aaron to rest.
My daughter Heidi helped me with the funeral preparations, Jesse put together a video memorial of Aaron to be shown at the service and our dear friend Rose helped put together the after party at our home.
And with family and friends arriving from interstate and overseas it turned out to be a welcome distraction. I had plenty to keep me busy so as not to miss Aaron too much. It turned out I would have plenty of time for that later.
I had only been to one funeral in my life. My grandfather died when I was seventeen. He was dying of lung cancer for many painful months before he died. It was more of a relief to everyone although his suffering was unbearable to some especially my mother. I don’t remember much of that day so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one.
All the men in our family wore black at the funeral.I’m not sure if that was a conscious decision or just worked out that way. It turned out that black was a good way to describe the mood.
“Lots of grief” ,a friend posted on her Facebook page who was at the funeral. I don’t disagree.
I didn’t know what to expect at the funeral service. Our immediate family gathered before any guests arrived, so the immediate family could view his body that was lying in a room set off to the side of the front stage podium. I watched as his siblings along with his mum made their way to see, touch and say their goodbyes and have one final look at their brother and son.
I stayed in my seat in the front row of the podium where the service would be held. I wasn’t about to budge. I didn’t go to the morgue the night we were called in to identify Aaron’s body. I left that to Rhonda and two of my boys, Jonathan and Daniel who for their own reasons were eager to go.
To see my boy lying on a cold slab in a sterile room or lying in a casket fully dressed was not on my to-do list. I wanted to remember Aaron alive.
One of my girls came and sat next to me and encouraged me to go and see his body that it would do me good.
For what ever reasons she thought I needed to view his body and what good it would do for me I knew she meant well. I wanted to rebel like a two-year old who was being made to eat his broccoli.
To keep things civil I reluctantly dragged myself over with the others and stood before my son. I looked,I touched his hand, I said I love you and left to take up my position in the front row once again.
It was painless and took no more than ten seconds.
Yes I admit, he looked peaceful and he looked as though he went to sleep and never woke up. They did a good job. But when I touched his hand, it was cold and lifeless. I pulled my hand away quick smart lest I catch something I didn’t want.
The funeral service was a family affair.
Heidi took on the role as MC.
My youngest daughter started proceedings by reading a poem.
We allowed anyone who wanted to unburden their hearts or talk about their relationship with Aaron access to the podium. I smiled, cried, laughed and was touched by all who spoke.
The highlight was the video memorial of Aaron’s life. It touched us and helped us to understand regardless of how his life ended he will always be remembered as our loving son, brother, uncle and friend in life as well as death.
The prayer duties were given to Aaron’s brother Brian.
After the service we laughed and cried with our guests before the casket was brought out to be taken to the cemetery for burial.
Watching the faces of Aaron’s brothers who were carrying out his casket brought me great pride. The survivors of a brothers bad decision.
These were now my heroes, those that would continue their lives with one less sibling at their side.
I was never so proud of these boys as I was at this moment. I would love and cherish them in a different way from here on out.
As we piled in our cars to follow the Hearst to the cemetery to lay Aaron to rest I had a sense of relief that we made it over the first hurdle.
It turned out to be one of the easier ones.