I did it. I finally cried.
It happened on Saturday. That morning I woke up to a surreal reality: I had to get ready for your funeral. I laid in bed for 15 minutes and did absolutely nothing at first. I thought that by doing so, it would prolong the inevitable. I thought that if I waited long enough, maybe a miracle would occur. So I did a round on Instagram. I hopped on my laptop. I texted my best friend. I took longer than usual to shower, and let the steam fog up the entire mirror. If I hadn’t been given a 10:00am pick-up time, I would’ve stayed in there forever. It would’ve been therapeutic for me to do it then. The water would’ve camouflaged my tears, and I may have gotten away with fooling myself. But I didn’t cry.
We picked Rach up last, but were one of the first people other than family to arrive at church. We wanted “good seats,” and filled up two pews. We joked. We talked shit. We did what we normally did on a Saturday morning. Until you arrived. I couldn’t see your beautiful face. I couldn’t hear your “aloha” accent I always made fun of. I could only see a light grey coffin peeking out from underneath a white linen cloth adorned with purple flowers on top, and hear the sobs and sniffles of your family and friends. I watched as your father, both sides of your family and your husband, struggled to sum up their emotions, and your life in only a few sentences without breaking apart. Still, I didn’t cry.
Not even when we placed the orange sticker on our rear view mirror. Or when we all gathered underneath the last big tree. Or when the priest said his final prayer. Or when we released dozens of white balloons into the air. Or when they lowered your casket in the ground. Or when everyone took turns to pay their final respects. Or when I picked a purple flower from Q’s wreath and threw it into your grave. Or when I saw the pain in your husbands face from behind his sunglasses. Not even when the wind blew, and it carried the howls of your mother’s heartache across the cemetery. I didn’t cry.
The party was in full swing by the time we got to the reception. Music was playing, trays of food were plenty, and bottles of cognac could be found on almost every table. Jason was holding his soon to be God daughter. Drinks were poured, and even your mom took a shot with us. The room was filled with laughter so loud that even the heavens could hear it, and we all wondered where in the room you were. You already knew which girls would be first on the dance floor. And before the sun even went down, the dance floor was packed. Your father-in-law was on stage with a gallon of Hennessy, and all the aunties were egging him on. It was a sauna in there, but nobody cared. They played “Scenario” by ATCQ and people went ape shit crazy.
I knew you were proud of us, and I knew you were happy. But as much fun as everyone was having, I knew the only thing better would’ve been you there in the flesh. Drinking tequila with a water back. Rolling around on the floor. Singing off key. And dancing with your husband. It was bittersweet. Because I missed you so much, yet I could not contain the joy in my heart at that moment.
And that’s when it happened. I finally cried.
Repic from Katrina.