Driving in the car to the funeral home I found myself crying and praying for strength to see my dad’s body.
The funeral home called and told me they could show me his face. They were able to make it look presentable. I was trying to picture in my mind what he might look like the whole car trip there.
We walked through the doors of the funeral home and greeted by the nicest people. Professional, understanding. We had to sign papers to touch my dad because he was not embalmed. He is being cremated, so no need for that. Communicable diseases disclosure.
We were lead down a hallway that was decorated by crosses made of wood and iron . We stopped in front of a wooden double door.
He opened the door to reveal my dad’s body under a blanket with his hands folded over the blanket, he was on a gurney with a sheet over it. I took a deep breath as I looked at his face.
It looked the same except he had a black eye, his mouth and left side of his cheek were mangled a bit but the funeral person had done a good job with presentation of the wound. The right side of his face was fine. His eyes looked peaceful. His skin looked really good.
I took the blanket off and saw his clothes and shoes. His green shirt with a psalm about his soul longing for the Lord. His jean shorts. He had white socks with his blue birkenstock sandals. He had a hat on. I am assuming that was on purpose. The bullet he choose was a snake bullet. It explodes everything it touches. There was no exit wound, the damage was all internal. I am assuming that he put the hat on just in case something went wrong and he didn’t want to leave a mess of brains everywhere.
He was like touching ice. My hands were red from how cold he was. I felt like I was with a wax sculpture. Him not breathing or his chest moving up and down. His eyes never opening. You know they are dead but this is the only way you know them, in their physical body. I just kept feeling like he would respond to something I was saying, or touching his arm. Nothing!
It gave me closure. He is not in that lifeless, freezing body. What I needed I got. It was the shock of it suddenly being over that was making me stuck. I got to say goodbye today. I got to say a lot of things to him. I got mad and told him, ” you are missing me turn 40, you are missing my grand baby and your great grand baby being born in August, my kids graduating high school. I screamed that no one can fill his shoes”. I cried, I hugged him, I took pictures of him and with him. Right before I left ,I kissed his forehead and told him, ” I love you, pappa”. I am so glad I went.