It had not even dawned on me, through my numb fog, that we would need to decide where to bury Jason…and pick out a casket…and plan the graveside service…and the memorial service…until a visiting chaplain from the fire department mentioned it. No one thinks about having to bury their child and everything that it entails. We had to make some important decisions that couldn’t wait. So many decisions! No one else could do it for us.
On Monday, we met with the funeral director at Floral Hills Cemetery.
The overwhelming feelings of disbelief and grief are hard to describe. I could hardly get out of the car. I felt so stunned, helpless and full of pain. Joe just stood in the parking lot and sobbed. It was hard to even move. I felt like I had huge cement blocks on my feet. Just going in the office was an agonizing step of reality – Jason was gone. I couldn’t even begin to get my mind around the concept that he was gone. We had to make plans to bury our son. We had to make ourselves move, step by step, into the building.
We made so many choices that day – cemetery plot, casket, headstone, flowers, whether or not to have a viewing, what to put on the headstone…and many, many more. Decisions you never think you’ll have to make, especially concerning one of your children.
When we were almost through making our decisions, the funeral director told us that the Christianson’s had chosen Floral Hills for Alina’s burial, too. Without knowing it at the time, we had chosen a burial site two spaces away from where Alina would be buried. It seemed right they should be close together since they were such great friends.
Once we were done at the funeral home, we had to drive over to meet with one of the pastors at church to plan the service. More decisions – date, time, order of service and content, who would speak, receiving line or not, food afterward or not.
What an overwhelming day! I don’t know how we did it.
Over the next couple of days we had to make even more decisions. We chose pictures for the memorial slide show and chose what to put in the printed program. We chose music for the slide show. We took the pictures to the church so they could be scanned. We asked people to perform or speak at the service. We had to decide what Jason would wear – his favorite three-piece suit, shirt and tie – and take it to the funeral home. Since both Jenna and I were in school, we had to decide how and whether to finish our coursework and the quarter. We had to let Jason’s teachers know what happened. The decisions went on and on.
So many awful, horrible, necessary decisions. I never want to make any of those decisions ever again.