I had to go shopping to get clothes for the funeral since my things were all packed in boxes and some still at the house where she was murdered. I got my nails done since my last manicure now had caked blood. It was very sad because before that I had always gone with my mom, and to one certain nail salon. I remember wondering if the people who worked at that nail salon saw her in the newspapers and realized what happened. I remember wanting the world to stop, but it never did. Everyone kept going.
I had so many mixed feelings about seeing her body. It was the first time I saw her since that night, and it would be the last time I saw her for the rest of my life.June 28, 2006. I didn't know if I had the strength to see her.
When I arrived it was the private family viewing time. Once I saw the casket open I was drawn to her, I had to go see. The sight of her body took my breath away. I knew she was dead but I didn't really KNOW it until that point.
I tried to pick out her outfit but nothing I picked would work and I realized now that it was probably because of all her stab wounds. Everything was covered except her face. The one thing I wanted to see and touch were her hands, but there were gloves covering them. Overwhelmed and heartbroken are understatements. There are no words, just tears.
Once it was the public viewing time I sat there watching people walk in , "I will remember you" by Sarah McLachlan was playing on repeat. I wanted to find a more original song but I didn't have time, and I didn't really care. No song would do my mom justice anyway. My mom was wearing half of a heart necklace that said "Daughter" as I had asked, and I was wearing the other half. By the end of the service there were a few other cross necklaces placed on her.
The other details are fuzzy, but I remember closing my eyes and trying to pretend this wasn't real. There was still a chance this was a dream. Whenever I hear "I will remember you" I can close my eyes and go RIGHT back to that seat at her viewing. I smell the formaldehyde and flowers, and feel the overwhelming sadness.
Once 8 o'clock hit it was time for everyone to leave. I stayed until the end, until they were going to take her body. I protested and tried to stay. I didn't want her to be taken. I wanted to sit with her there for the rest of my life. How do you say goodbye to your mother? How do you look at her face and know you will never see it again? Tears just stream down my face thinking about it. I would give anything to go back to that moment right now to see her one more time.