We went to St. Louis over the weekend for Brian’s memorial service. He died almost two months ago, so it was hard living it all over again… harder than I had anticipated. In no way did I think the experience was going to be fun, but I did not anticipate just how emotional I was going to be. I started crying the moment I entered the building.
His sister, Jen, did a phenomenal job putting the service together. I remember years ago Brian saying he wanted his service to be more of a “party”, and though we were definitely not partying, there were fun, upbeat activities around the room for people to participate in, including a photo booth area of things Brian liked (Clark Kent glasses because he loved Superman, Mizzou tiger ears, and unicorn headbands).
At another station people could write a memory of him on a piece of paper and toss it in a bowl. At the end of the service, Jen pulled a few of them out of the bowl to read aloud. She managed to pull both of my kids’ memories. Chloe’s card read:
“We went to a drive-in this summer and watched a new movie and now I love the movie so much, it is a good memory. Love, Chloe”
As Jen pulled Chase’s out of the bowl he said, “Oh no oh no oh no oh no….” Ready for it? Here goes:
“We were in the car and he kept farting. I can still smell it from here.”
Lol! It was a great tension breaker, for sure!
The kids were also asked to create a memory board to display at the service, which was right up Chloe’s alley. Originally Chase didn’t want to participate at all, but he did end up helping her a little. Side note: Right after she wrote “freinds” she said, “Oh no! I switched the e and the i!” I assured her no one would care. She did a beautiful job:
After the service we all met up for pizza, and Jen surprised Chase with a birthday cake, since his birthday was 2 days later:
The morning of the service I woke up and checked Facebook, only to see this pop up on my memories from exactly 2 years ago:
Obviously as exes we had our differences, but for the majority of our divorced years we had the type of relationship all divorced people wished they could have. I miss that.
We drove to St. Louis instead of flying, since flying would have cost us about $1,000 in airline tickets for the weekend. Driving was the fiscally responsible choice, but after 15 hours in the car Friday I thought to myself, “Oh man…. I have to turn around and do this again 33 hours from now.” Yeah. We should have flown. I was exhausted. We got a hotel with a pool so we’d have a chance to do a little unwinding and of course the kids wanted to hit the water as soon as we got there. They swam, and I just tried to stay awake:
You know, loss has a way of bringing people together. When I lost my dad last year it brought my brother and I back together. This loss has brought Brian’s family back into my life and I am so grateful for that. I look forward to keeping that connection through the years, for the kids’ sake… and for mine.