On January 15th we laid Jeffery to rest, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I do not wish this on my worst enemy.
They say if one loses a spouse they are a widow or widower, and if one loses their parents they are an orphan, but there is no such word for one that loses their child because it is the most unnatural things in this world that some have to live through.
His funeral was held at the funeral home, it was nice, there were so many flowers, and so many friends and family filled all the pews.
I had decided that it should be open casket, Jack’s parents were against that, but I didn’t care, I needed to see him look better than he did the morning I found him in his cradle.
He was so gorgeous, looked like an angle sleeping on a cloud, and I have no regrets, in fact, Jack’s parents thanked me later, they liked that it was open casket after all.
Through the viewing which was held for 2 hours right before the funeral, I would hold his little hand, and Jack’s mom would also hold his little hand if I wasn’t with him, and Jack’s dad came up to us a little later and said we might want to stop holding his hand because he is getting warm, and if someone were to touch him, they might think something. It makes me smile.
As the funeral was about to start, they started closing the curtains, and asked just the immediate family to come behind the curtain, so it was Jack and I, I was holding Jessica, and my dad, Jack’s parents and my grandmother. My mother didn’t come.
Rewind a couple of days, my aunt sent a telegram to Israel to track down my mother, and she phoned me, said how sorry she was, and that she had a dream that Jeffery was in God’s arms, I said when are you coming? (She, at the time had an open-ended ticket to come home) And she says, Oh, I’m not coming, I don’t like funerals much…I was dumbfounded, it wasn’t often that I needed my mother, but at this time, I thought, I did, I really needed my mother. And as per usual, she wasn’t there, it took me years, actually, I’m not over this yet. I was so mad, I said, you know what, Mother, I don’t either, maybe I won’t go, and she said – That’s the spirit. Yup. Speechless. We didn’t talk for years.
So, back to the funeral, we are all standing behind the curtain, with Jeffery and the pastor is saying a prayer. Everyone is quiet, people are all seated in pews outside of the curtain, and they are all quiet. I am holding Jessica, and I swear to you, I am not wearing anything revealing at all, but my baby girl, in a loud voice says, I see Mommy’s boobies. None of us knew what to do so we just laughed. From the mouth of babes, right? Sometimes we need that release during the really tough times.
The funeral was beautiful, people read poems, he was well loved and touch so many people is his short time with us. We were so lucky to have met him, held him, and loved him.
We drove to the cemetery, and one of the funeral director people gave me a rose to place on his coffin, and they nodded when I could go and do so, so I took the 3 steps up, knelt down, put the rose down and sobbed, I lost it, I could not get back up, Jack had Jessica and had started for me, but it was my dad, he bent down next to me and helped me back up. I can’t say it enough, this was the hardest day of my life. Ever.
We went back to Jack’s parents house for the reception, and once people left Jessica and I crashed on the couch, it was such a hard deep, dreamless sleep, just her and I.
Jack and I didn’t last long after this, we were closer than we had ever been right after, he was the only other person on the face of this earth that knew what I was going through. The first night back at the house, someone had brought KFC, and we sat on our cold kitchen floor in the dark with the fridge door open eating cold chicken. We cried, we sat huddled there on that kitchen floor, and I loved him more at that moment then any other. But it didn’t last.
By August, Jessica and I were on our own, they say that it takes a strong couple to withstand the death of a child, and we were not that strong.
Rest in peace Jeffery, you are forever my guardian angel, I love you and miss you everyday.