In the middle of grieving, looking for answers to the why question, expressing my anger, and dealing with the guilt I realized there was still business that had to be taken care of. By this time Trey had returned to work, my friends were busy teaching, and my mother was keeping Emily every day. I didn't want to bother anyone, so I decided I could take care of things by myself. These weren't things that I felt I needed to do alone like picking out the flowers and my clothes the week of the funeral. I just didn't want to ask for help. I didn't want to appear weak or needy. I was on my own now so I might as well start handling things myself - right?
The first thing I did alone was go to the cemetery office to order a marker for Eddie's grave. I never knew there were so many names for the same thing - tombstone, headstone, marker, monument. I also never knew there were so many different types of stone or so many different shades of grey to choose from. I thought I would go in, tell them what I wanted, and be done with it. I wasn't prepared for the pages and pages of choices I had to look at. It never crossed my mind that I would have to choose the writing style, the shape of the stone, and any pictures or designs I wanted engraved. I knew I wanted to keep it fairly simple. I wanted something tasteful, not gaudy (which believe me was a choice). After what seemed like an eternity, I settled on the type of stone, the color, and the style of writing I wanted. But when it came time to write down what I wanted engraved, I froze. I could not make myself pick up the pen and write Eddie's name, date of birth, and date of death. This was too real. Putting his name on that marker was going to make his death final. I guess the panic showed on my face because the man helping me suggested we take a break. He had me move to a more comfortable chair, brought me a bottle of water, then left me alone for a few minutes. When he returned I couldn't get everything finished fast enough. All I wanted was to get out of there. I could hardy breathe, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was going to faint. Once I got out to my car I had to just sit in it for a long time before I was able to drive myself home. Doing this alone was a big mistake!
The second thing I did alone was deal with the life insurance money. The envelope with the check in it had arrived in the mail several days earlier, but I couldn't make myself open it. I knew what was inside, and I didn't want to see it. This was one more thing that was going to make Eddie's death real and final. I said I did this alone, but I actually had a wonderful financial advisor who helped me through the process. What I did alone was drive myself to his office. Once I was there he opened the envelope for me, helped me write checks for the things I needed to pay off, and helped me choose where to invest the remaining money. The whole thing took a couple of hours, and by the end I was feeling the same way I had when choosing the grave marker. I couldn't breathe, I felt faint, and I suddenly burst into tears. My advisor was very patient and understanding. He said we could take a break, he got me a kleenex, and a bottle of water. Once I got myself back together we finished quickly. When I left his office I had to again sit in the car for a long time before I could drive home. Doing this alone was another big mistake!
Looking back now on these two events I've wondered one thing - does water have some kind of healing power? Both men gave me a bottle of water when it became obvious that I was upset. Since then I've noticed on TV shows whenever a person is being given bad news someone always offers them a glass of water. I know it seems silly to think about this, but it's one of those things that sticks out in your mind after you've been through a traumatic event. Wouldn't it be nice if something as simple as a glass of water could take away all of our pain?!
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelations 21:4