I actually had quite a bit written down but decided to do a different take and rewrote the whole thing. Let me start off by saying that my uncle was a great man who, after my grandmother died, took on the role as Pater Familias which is no small task let me tell you. He was also one of the first people I told about my transition and he was always very cool about it.
Yesterday started with me trying to figure out what to wear. Black of course, because it’s a funeral, but there were going to be a few hundred people there, many of which still hadn’t seen me as Julie so I had to choose wisely. I did not want to attract too much attention as this was the day we should all be focusing on my uncle and how much he meant to us. So while I really wanted to wear a specific black skirt I decided against that and wore my black pants instead along with a stylish black top.
The service itself was intense and emotional but also very beautiful. The eulogies, the music, the flowers, everything was as it should be. He would have been proud. I sat next to one of my cousins who, like me, lost a brother and has a tough time dealing with these events. All the memories and emotions surface and the pain you felt back then becomes tangible again. It hurts. A lot. She stood next to me when I did my eulogy on my brother’s service and now I was there for her. She really should’ve brought more tissues though; I had to give her mine.
Once the first part of the service was over the casket was carried outside while several people were holding flowers, guiding it as it were to the hearse. It drove slowly at walking speed with only one car behind it that held his immediate family. Everyone else, the hundreds of family members, friends and guests, walked behind them toward his final resting place; a local cemetery where more than a few of our family has been laid to rest.
When everyone arrived he was then carried to his spot, a beautiful spot that even has a nearby bench. All the flowers were placed near it and they had set up 2 big vases and a bucket of sand. This because he loved going to the beach and now everyone could grab a handful of sand and add it to one of the vases so he’d always have a little piece of the beach with him. A unique but very nice ritual.
A few more words were spoken and then it was time to walk back to the place we came from where there would be time to pay our respects to everyone and have something to drink. My cousin however, wanted to see the grave of two of our other cousins that passed away many years ago in a very unfortunate accident. So I figured we could take the time to walk around and find the spot, I had been there relatively recently so I still had a basic idea of where it was.
As we started walking back from where we came from we talked about a variety of things, our odd eating habits, weight issues, and she noted that I didn’t seem to need much comforting throughout the service. I explained that it most certainly did hurt but that most of my emotions were already released the day he passed away. I also knew that the backlash would come later.
After the entire service was over, my mom, my dad, and myself went out to eat at a nearby restaurant to try and unwind a little from what was a very emotional day. I don’t actually recall what I ate but I’m sure it was good. After dinner I was dropped off at home and that’s when it started.
I tried my best to go about my normal routine but it just wouldn’t work. Eventually, the tears came and I knew I had to leave the house. I put my boots back on, grabbed my keys, and left. I wasn’t sure whereto yet but just being outside already helped a bit. As I walked around I decided to see if one of my aunts & uncles were home and just as I got there and rang the doorbell they arrived in their car. Odd timing that was. It was already very late at this point but it helped a great deal to be able to talk to someone and let my emotions out. Once I got home I was so tired I finally crashed and fell asleep.