The days leading up to my husband’s service are actually a blur. They blended together as we as a family had so much to do. Kevin wasn’t supposed to die when he did. When I had flown my youngest son out for a visit it was for just that, a visit, consequently, he came out with minimal attire and certainly nothing formal. Likewise my son in Windsor – 5 hours drive from where we live. He had come home for the weekend expecting a nice family get together. Instead the kids got here in time to have a couple of days with their dad and then he was gone. Then we were planning a funeral.
I needed to make sure that the kids had some respectable clothing for the funeral and I wanted that done as soon as possible. Fortunately things quickly went from “I” to “we” in all the activities that needed to be completed. Our children, our family and our friends came to the rescue to help in the planning and arrangements. We needed to arrange catering for the reception after the service. We had to meet with the minister to give her a sense of who Kevin was. One of my husband’s close friends was making a video for the reception hall so there were videos and photos to gather up and production work that needed to be completed. The kids wanted to do pins or buttons with a copy of one of Kevin’s paintings on it. We needed to deliver the artwork for display at the funeral home. The equipment in the garage was collected during this time, someone had to oversee that.
We had many phone calls to make and to respond to as well as emails to send to inform people that Kevin had passed. News spreads quickly in a community the size of the one we live in. When I called the Art Gallery to inquire about them administering an endowment for Kevin, they had already heard the news from some of Kevin’s former students. Needless to state, we had a full house for visitation on Wednesday. It started at 6 pm and finished at 945 pm and by the time it was over we were beat. There was another visitation planned for 12 noon on Thursday followed by the service at 1 pm. During the visitation and the funeral service we had played some of his original compositions, including our wedding song. Kevin played to a full house for his final gig – it was the highest compliment people could possibly give.
The reception went well I think. Watching the hearse drive away with my Kevin for the last time is really all I remember. I know we went to the golf course and I saw a lot of people but I don’t really remember it. I guess I discovered in the hardest way possible that I’m really not that strong at all. With Kevin by my side I felt that life was good and we could figure anything out. Things may have gone wrong but he could usually find the humour in it or at least spin a good yarn out of it.
It’s the reality of sharing your life with someone for more than 30 years and then losing them that hits hard. There are roles that each of you play – his was to socialize and protect and mine was everything else. He was good at his jobs especially at socializing. In a marriage of that length we’d been through all the bumps and had decided that we not only loved one another, but we liked each other too. It was a good run and I appreciate all the time I had with him; I’m thankful to all the people who throughout the years shaped him into the human being that he was – they did a great job because he was a great guy.