Yesterday I attended B's funeral. On the way there, my stomach felt uneasy, I was dreading what would take place. The casket was there, but closed. First there was a video, slideshow of the previous day's events. Including the driver being booked into jail, followed by her sentencing of 8 to 20 years in prison, Seeing the doctor tell a father his son had died. All of the "walking dead," those who were portrayed as dying every 15 minutes, were shown with gray paint and no expression on their face, as well as their headstone. That was hard to see B with such a sullen look. As you all know, her smile just lights up her whole face, and her eyes twinkle. The walking dead entered the room and put a flower on the casket. It was difficult to see her, and not have any acknowledgement from her, as she was "dead." Some of the dead's parents read a letter of what they wished they had told their children. Also some of the dead read a letter of what they wanted to tell their parents and family. I was hoping B wasn't going to be one of them, as I knew that I would not have been able to keep it together. Then a lady told the story of her daughter who was killed by a drunk driver at age 22. All those who were the first on the accident scene were asked to stand, then anyone who had an immediate family member die in the event, then anyone whose friend died, and then anyone who had a friend whose friend died. Of course the whole audience was standing at that time. The point being...it never affects just one person. At the end of the funeral we were able to reunite with the dead.
I am so glad it was not real. Although I only got a glimpse of what it would be like, I think I understand a little more how it would be to lose someone. Awful! Like I said earlier, it was more about how it would be to lose someone rather than the drinking and driving issue. But I think for those who drink it was probably pretty effective. It bothered me a little that they kept saying it was a choice to get behind the wheel. I think it is more a choice to take a drink, but I guess that depends on where you are coming from.
I liked what thorkgal said about the way we all make ripples in others' lives. So true.
It was a very interesting experience for me, but also for B. She has told us about what she learned, and will hopefully continue to tell others about not only the importance of not drinking and driving, but of making stupid choices such as not wearing a seatbelt, driving too fast, and others. She had to read her own obituary as part of the program and said that was really difficult. We also received her letter she wrote to us, and she the one we wrote to her. Overall, a good experience, but difficult all the same.
2. Having everyone at dinner
3. saying "I love you"