It’s been hard two weeks. Ben (my brother-in-law) died on February 2nd. His funeral was on the 4th. Over 100 people where present. I’m not sure how many people where there total, but I’d venture a guess that it was in the neighborhood of 150.
I was honored to have the opportunity to speak at the funeral. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I was determined to do a good job in order to honor Ben. I hope that’s what I was able to do. Although I felt intensely sad, I was comforted to look in the faces of so many people who loved Ben. I hope he knew how much he was loved while he was alive.
At the end of the funeral, we were all invited to shovel dirt on Ben’s grave. It is a Jewish tradition and seen as a gift to the deceased, a way of helping them to their final resting place. Hearing the dirt hit his plain pine casket, the finality of it all hit me. Even though I’d been with Ben when he passed, it almost didn’t seem real. Leaving the hospital that night felt strikingly familiar to the many other times I’ve left the hospital after visiting him. But dropping dirt into his grave was different, definitive.
Stephen and I spent two weeks in Texas with family. We helped his mom and brother, Josh, go through Ben’s things. We sold what we could on Craig’s List and in a garage sale. The money is being donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (Friends have also been donating, which is great.) The rest of our days were spent visiting friends and family, trying to stay busy.
But now we are home again, back in Germany. I know it’s going to take a lot more than 2 weeks for me to feel better, and we’ll probably never stop missing Ben, but I am ready to get back to normal. (Well, as normal as can be expected.) It’s time to get back to our routine and start preparing for our PCS. (Although we are hoping our timeline might be adjusted somewhat so Stephen can re-take WLC.) I’m planning to start blogging regularly again, commenting on your blogs, getting back into the swing of things.
I can’t thank you all enough for your kind, comforting words. It’s hard to know what to say in a situation like this, so don’t feel like you need to say anything if you can’t; just know that I’m grateful you are here with me on this journey.
I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about an incredibly normal topic – running.