I didn’t sleep Friday night. Maybe got 20 mins. I looked in the mirror at one point and didn’t even recognize myself. Eyes were swollen, red and bloodshot.
I needed to go, but had to wait for 9 am for the car rental place to open.
Husband asked me if I let my sister know. I said, no, I hadn’t and planned on telling her that morning. I waited till about 7:30am to call her.
I told her. I told her how.
I told her I would be there around 9pm and getting a room. She said she would be there. She told me there was no way I was going into that house alone.
On the way I called the coroner back. I asked some uncomfortable questions.
“When did you find him?” Friday afternoon, late.
“How did you know he was there?” Neighbors said it was unusual for them to not see him. So police did a well check and broke through front door.
“Is the door secure now? Can I get in?” Yes
“Where was he found?” In the living room in front of the TV on the floor.
“Is there blood?” Yes.
“What about the smell?” I long lost my smell, but the police said it was pungent.
He went on to tell me they had his keys and I would need to request at the police station for the return of the gun.
Um, no. They can destroy it. Or whatever they do.
So Sunday morning, we eat some continental breakfast, gather our courage and head to the house.
I already had a key, and it would turn the door knob lock, but the damage to the bolt lock from the police entering caused that not to turn.
I had to kick the door in.
I have to remember to thank my kick boxing instructor for what I did to that door. I’m pretty badass.
The door swung open and there it was. The smell knocked me back, the sight was a gut punch beyond comprehension.
I had to open windows. As I ran around house fighting with old windows to open, I was yelling and cussing and doing all the things that made no sense.
But I guess it’s what I had to do.
I pulled a comforter off of his bed and covered the horror.
I had words coming out of me that don’t even exist. My poor sister must’ve thought I had lost my mind. She didn’t look much better than I did though.
I was there for initial paperwork. I knew where it would be, and sat down to go through it.
He left a note. In the paperwork.
The note infuriated me. “I’m sorry this will be an inconvenience for you” was the first line.
As I read it, I looked up into the living room, glanced at the comforter, knew the horror underneath it and just belted out, “A fucking inconvenience?! Are you fucking kidding me?!” My sister smiled. Shook her head. Her and I don’t know each other at all, I left at 14, she was 9. But she’s about to get to know me, as I am her.
Because there is no bond created like two sisters that have to face and clean up parts of their father.
I found what I needed, called the funeral home and set up an appointment. She could meet us there in 10 minutes.
She tried to be gentle with us, telling us he could not be embalmed. No suit to be worn, they could not get it on him if they tried. She was extremely sorry for what we were about to face for clean up. She actually gave us some chemicals to break down the mess and some advice for smell and cleanup.
We did paperwork. We talked prices and insurances.
We left, ate lunch and went to Walmart for box fans for the windows and mops and bleach and whatever we could find to delay us from going back.
But we did. I was not going to let my little sister do the worst of it. She was in the back of the house and I started. I’ve never been so angry. Ever.
And ripped apart inside.
But I yelled at what was left behind, letting him know how pissed I was. How angry. No daughter should ever have to do this.
She came out and helped, but I wouldn’t let her do much, she held bag. I had to run outside a couple times heaving.
But we did it.
Monday found us back at it. We removed everything that could hold the smell. Curtains, cushions, everything.
My husband and middle child arrived late Monday.
Tuesday, we are back at it and dividing what we want in the house. We spent 12 hours or more a day there, cleaning and talking and swearing and laughing and not doing good but leaning into what we are facing.
Wednesday, we buried him. We cried. A lot. Surprised we cried as we did and began to realize that the anger was fading and sadness and empathy for him was settling in.
I am not as angry. I’m sure the coming days will bring a roller coaster of emotions, but nothing like what I went through on Sunday.
I haven’t slept much, I close my eyes and immediately I’m back to the door swinging open from the kick.
I hope that lessens as time goes on.
My sister wanted to see him. It was heavily advised not to. If she did, she would have to sign a waiver. She was determined.
Since they could not deny her right, she signed off and so did I. I could not let her go in alone, even though I did not want to see him.
When we signed the waiver, the director looked at her with actual tears. He said, “I have seen a lot, and I’m asking you for your sake not to view him. Your last image of him should not be this.”
He went on with kind words and practically begging. But she signed. So did I.
As we drove off towards the coroners, she said she had no doubts at all until now. As we drove I stayed silent as she talked herself through what she wanted.
She told me to turn around, so I happily did. I would be there for her, but I think it would’ve almost destroyed me.
After a long day today, we came back to hotel and got in the pool. Took showers and crawled into bed. I leave soon. I’ve got to go home, Im burned out from this place, this town, this hotel, that house.
Im burned out from him.
It’s 3am as I write this. I have a long drive today and I still can’t sleep.
I think I needed to write some of this week out of my head.