Seven years ago tomorrow, April 20th was my late husband’s funeral. A day I never thought I would ever have to face and certainly not in 2013! Glenn Was only 57.
Although he passed away suddenly on March 28th, I wanted his funeral to be held in the same location as our wedding and just as perfect, so we had to wait a few weeks for the venue to become available.
Glenn and I got married in 2001, just after 9/11. We chose a beautiful sanctuary in the middle of a bustling and somewhat sketchy, Hollywood neighborhood. If you didn’t know about the place you wouldn’t even know its there. The tiny art deco temple/chapel is set amongst one acre of lush tropical plants and flowers. Stained glass windows adorn the walls where light comes in and reflects off the gold leaf décor that fills the sanctuary. When we found that place back in 2001, we knew immediately it was absolutely perfect!
Our wedding was small, just our close family and friends. We made the food & floral arrangements ourselves and didn’t go on a honeymoon.. Glenn always said that every day together was our “honeymoon.” Our reception was held in my friend’s backyard. Yet, it was still perfect. I was surrounded with my loved ones and marrying the man of my dreams. Glenn always said, “small wedding, big marriage.”
So, when I had to quickly pivot after being suddenly widowed and come up with funeral plans, I immediately knew what to do. As I sat with Glenn in his last hours it was if he was downloading his wishes to my thoughts. It just came out of nowhere.
Like our wedding, I made the food and floral arrangements as well as the invitations. I wrote and read his eulogy and worked with my brother-in-law to create a beautiful video montage with pictures from Glenn’s life. It was as perfect as it could be. So perfect that I planned a second for the early summer. That’s when we would release his ashes off the shores of Long Island where Glenn grew up and learned to surf.
As I reflect on this day seven years later, I am still in awe at what a beautiful man I loved and was married to. We shared a life, a passionate and compassionate life together. Glenn taught me how to love; the likes of which I’d never known before and may never know again. If I do, I will certainly know the feeling when it comes.
This love keeps me going as I find my way on my own. Grief has taught me that although the physical body may be gone, the love never goes away, ever.