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A funeral gone wrong…

18 January, 2002

What do you do, when you're standing at work. The phone rings. Hello. Kevin died. What? How? When? So many questions. So few answers. I only know what the papers say. He got killed in a tree trimming accident. A branch fell, and hit him. He died in the hospital. Why didn't anyone call? Why didn't I get to say "Goodbye?" Why, Mom? Why, Kevin? I gathered myself that day. Thoughts never leaving my mind, just circling around, trying to figure out the answers to the things I didn't know. Pick up the phone. Becky? Kevin died. Crying hysterically. I know. I didn't think you'd care. What? How could you know and not tell me that my best friend just died? How could you do this? You knew! You didn't tell me. I hate you. I never want to talk to you again. Slamming the phone down, I felt like I had no one. How could this happen? Three days earlier he had been standing there at the pizza shop, talking to me. Telling me he loved me. Begging me for one more chance. I laughed it off. We had a great relationship, while it lasted. He had a lot of family problems that got in our way. He lived in a group home. Abandoned by 2 parents. Separated from the brother and sister they decided to keep. They missed out. They gave up the best thing to ever happen to them.

Two days later, it was time for the funeral. Dressed in black, my Mom on one arm, and a friend on the other for support- we gathered our thoughts and headed into the funeral home. Mom! Why? Kevin lay there in the very clothes that he died in. The dirty, ripped, blood-stained clothes that he had worn to cut down trees. That's what they chose to bury him in. That's all the more they cared for their son. As they stand in front; Mother in sweat pants, a tee-shirt and tennis shoes. The father not much better. Kevin had a purple "do-rag" on his head. Probably to cover his wounds from falling out of the tree. His arms were covered in dirt. The same dirt that he fell into. You could see the clean spot on his arm, where the doctor had placed the I.V. After a very sad funeral he was to buried as his wishes. But, wait. That was too expensive. So, let's cremate him. The one thing he hated with all his passion. He believed that burning the body after death was the cruelest thing you could do to a person. So, it's no wonder that's what they chose to do. They never cared about him. And had I known earlier. I wouldn't have let them do that to him.

For 3 years I have hated his family for doing this to him. And in my heart, I believe that he was killed for his money. He had been saving. He wanted to get his own apartment to show me he could be responsible. He was in the process of finding his very first own home. He always considered my house his real home. And my parents were his parents. He wrote to me in a notebook every night before he went to bed. And when I saw him 3 days prior to his death, he was finishing it up to mail to me. His diary of thoughts. Because he had no one to talk to, no one to care for him. Needless to say, I never saw the notebook after he passed. And I don't believe I ever will. I don't believe that he had a proper burial, and his ashes were probably thrown away after everyone left.

A few days later, when I could muster a few words through the tears, I managed to have my own little memorial in my bedroom. I gathered his pictures, and love notes, and gifts in a pile, and went through each one remembering the good times we shared. I said later to him that day, because it will never be goodbye. I'll see him again someday. But until I walk through the pearly gates, I know he's watching over me to keep me safe. And even though I have moved on, Kevin will always remain in my heart, and as the best friend I lost, and the dear departed boyfriend passed.

Thank you for listening to me babble. For 3 years I've been keeping this bottled up inside. It feels so good to finally tell the world how I really feel.

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