One Year Later

Yeah....so if you have been reading or know me in real life, then you are probably aware that I keep things pretty real...even here where it's all out in the open. So things are about to get pretty raw...

Some days when I think about him it seems impossible that he isn't here. Even when I walk through the  memories of this day last year it still feels like a dream, not something that I lived. But I can still remember everything as if I were watching it all in a horror movie that I can't seem to turn off.
Andrew & Me
 Monday, October 31. I was playing on my computer about to leave for Body Pump when Mom first called to tell me about the rumor but not to panic. I immediately called Daniel and just started crying because I was afraid it was true. I pulled it together and went to the gym to help keep me from over worrying. Then I went home and waited for what seemed like an eternity for her to call back. I remember Mom lying to me about how she still didn't know anything because she thought I was home alone and wanted someone to be there with me (I understand why you did that, but never do that again. I really can handle more than you realize!) It's like I could feel the truth coming the way my anxiety and heart rate were rising.

About 5min later she called and told me Andrew was dead. My heart shattered. I asked if Mom wanted to call Dad, or if she wanted me to. Of course she wanted to do it, but I offered because I wanted to do whatever I could for her. We got off the phone I can't remember if I called my boss or Daniel next. After enough time had passed for Mom to call Dad, I called him to check in. This is the second time I've heard my father cry (the first when I left for Houston after Tech graduation). I remember that Cole, Brittany, and Emma came over. But I was too busy talking to family to see them. I booked my flight home and just cried until the tears stopped coming. I couldn't sleep and didn't want to. I've always been like that when bad things happen. It's like I feel that once the next day starts it makes everything official. Luckily Lindsey had weird nurse hours so she was up when I called at 2am.

The next morning I went to work super early to try and miss my coworkers so I could put my out of offices on and get everything in order for Stacy to cover for me. That was awkward when my boss caught me. I got home, cleaned the pantry, and talked to Kayla (she's rather good in these situations) and just waited for my flight. I'm so glad that B was able to take me because Mom ended up calling and mentioned how we would be viewing the body...for some reason seeing the body is something that didn't even cross my mind, and made me nauseated at the thought.

I landed in Amarillo and Kara had told her mom about the situation so Melissa met me at the airport with a box of cookies from the bakery. This worked out perfectly because my Mom was still at the Police station, so now I wasn't stranded. I was able to catch the end of the meeting with the detective and give attitude to an authority figure of this sort for the first time in my life. I still don't understand how they "dropped the ball" and we didn't find out he was dead until 4 days later. After the police station we went to the funeral home to make the arrangements. We had dinner and this is probably the last time that I ate a full meal over the next few months.

Andrew, Dad, Me
The next day we saw the body. Dad met us at Grandma's house so we could all go together. I was really worried about how Marshall was doing with all of this, so I made sure he wanted to go in. I told him that he didn't have to, but whatever he decided I would be right there with him the whole time. When we pulled up Dad started crying and didn't get out of the car for a bit. When we walked into the funeral home Mom was already in there, I could hear her wailing. Marshall was wearing shock face, so I asked him again what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to go in. I linked his arm and we went in together. We got halfway across the room and he broke down. I pulled him in for the eternal hug and just held him. And told him that we were going to be ok and that Andrew is safe now. I didn't really cry at all, which I think freaked Mom out. I just prefer to do my crying in private if I can help it. And I felt like I needed to be strong for my parents and Marshall; someone needs to have it together. It was so weird to see him. It didn't look like him, especially the way they had his hair done.

After that traumatizing experience we went back to grandma's and finished picking out pictures for the slide show. That was actually pretty fun (minus the circumstance) because we got to look through a lot of pictures from our childhood. It's funny because before we had Marshall all of the pictures are me & Andrew. But once Marshall arrived I think I was forgotten because they were all of Marsh & Andrew.

The next day was the funeral. Daniel came up for that which was nice at the time, but looking back I wish that he hadn't. It was a nice service, even though I can't really remember what was said. And it was incredible how many of Andrews friends came. There were so many that  people had to sit in the choir loft and there were still kids standing. Everyone filed through and hugged us...well not me because most people probably wondered who the random girl sitting with Andrew's family is. Which is fine because it's all a pretty awkward situation. It was weird knowing that was the last time I would ever lay my eyes on him. Mom & Dad kissed his forehead and Marshall touched his hair before we closed the casket. I didn't touch it because it was just too much. Then we headed out to the burial. It was cold - very fitting. A few more words were spoken, we all laid hands on the casket, more hugs, then we said goodbye.

The church put together a really nice dinner for the family. The mood was definitely lighter as we all just chatted and ate. After what seemed like an eternity we got ready to leave.

That night Marshall and I went to Dad's house. We just spoke about memories, ate mint m&m's, and managed not to cry.

The rest of the week was a blur of depression mixed with family time. My mind is still boggled as I try to comprehend what happened, what went wrong. One of our last emails, though it had been months earlier, he told me about how he was enjoying family time and was finally clean...

Marshall, Me, Andrew, Mom
I still think about him every day, and figure that will never change. No matter how much I try I will never understand why people do drugs. I think part of why Andrew did it was to escape feeling down. But even dealing with the most painful stuff that life gives you (like this), I'd much rather feel it than be numb, which is why I can't understand when people chose the numbness. It always reminds me of this convo from Garden State:
Andrew Largeman: Fuck, this hurts so much. 
Sam: I know it hurts. That's life. If nothing else, It's life. It's real, and sometimes it fuckin' hurts, but it's sort of all we have. 
To end on a positive note...some of Andrew's friends have cleaned their lives up. So at least there's that.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous31.10.12

    you are wise! so wise!