Today is my cousin Rodger’s funeral.
I’m pretty sure that’s literally the most surreal thing I’ve ever typed.
For most of the time since he died, I was in Baltimore, away from my family. My aunt and uncle were in Florida (obviously, because that’s where they live) and then they drove to Maryland to be with my mom and then flew to California to take care of things there and to see Monica and Marley. They all flew east yesterday, the same day I went back to Salisbury, where today’s service is.
That was hard, but it also helped me stay in a nice denial bubble of sorts. I kept thinking “This isn’t happening,” but it is. It did and it is and and it will never stop happening.
I have to speak at the funeral, and that will be my debut doing that. Somehow, with all the funeral services that we’ve had in my family, I’ve managed to avoid it until today. My uncle has promised that if I can’t read what I wrote, he will do it for me, but I feel like that would be an almost unforgivable thing. Also, I think he and I are the only two people speaking (besides the minister) and as much as I would really, REALLY like this cup to be taken away from me, I know that if he can find the strength to speak at his only son’s funeral, I can find the strength to do the same.
I’m not sure you can say that there’s one “worst thing” about all of this because there’s so much awful to go around. The fact that Monica is a widow before she’s 30 is up there and the fact that Marley’s a half-orphan at two is definitely part of it. There’s never enough time anyway, but they definitely didn’t get anywhere near enough and I hate that.
I hate all of it.
I hate the fact that I will be saying goodbye to my cousin every day for the rest of my life. I hate the fact that in six years, I will be older than Rodger. I’ll have finally caught up, which was all I ever wanted to do when I was a kid.
I hate the fact that Marley will only know her dad through stories and pictures. But I’m glad that there are so many of both.
I hate that this will get easier and harder—easier because this won’t always be so raw…and that’s what also makes it harder. Every day takes me farther away from Rodger and everything that happens to me now will be something he won’t see.
And I am trying so hard to see the moments of light in between all this darkness. And honestly, I do feel so loved and supported from my friends, and the prayers are incredibly appreciated.
But wow. This is not my beautiful life.