Farewell to 2014 with a funeral and a short trip.
Wednesday, 12.31.2014 - 4:58 pm.

We buried Andrew's brother yesterday afternoon. He and I ran funeral-related errands in the morning and spent some time at the wake. Not as much as we should have, perhaps, but Andrew just didn't want to answer the same questions over and over again.

I was horrified when I walked in and noticed the coffin was open. Andrew had said it should be closed, given the circumstances surrounding the death. And I knew more about those than I wanted to, after I picked Andrew and his parents at the airport, a few hours after my last entry. Andrew's mom was talking to another relative and she was giving all those morbid details. I know she was happy she got to be at the place where her son was last alive, as she wanted, and got to see his remains, as she wanted. But Jesus, no, please. I didn't want to know those details.

At some point in the wake, when I went to talk to her...well, she was right in front of the coffin. And I saw him. I guess it shocked me because I'd heard Andrew's mother and sister talking about how it looked like he was only sleeping. To me it looked like something else, and he looked like a mannequin. And once again I wished the coffin was closed. But I was there just for support.

At noon, we met up with Nephew #2 for lunch and rest a little before the funeral. We returned, the three of us, to the wake at 4 pm, to have a priest do a little ceremony before heading to the cemetery. Andrew was always serene, but during the day he was often with teary eyes.

His brother was a musician, he played guitar since he was very young and was in bands and all. His talent was remarkable. Two of his friends played two beautiful songs during the funeral. I hugged Andrew for most of the first one as he finally let it go and cried. It was drizzling, very gently. You kind of didn't get wet with that. His longtime friends left guitar picks on the coffin before it was sealed behind a wall.

And that was it. "And that's how you bury a brother", said Andrew sadly on our way home. Heartbreaking. No words.

He, my nephew and I had dinner at home. We slept well. And this morning we went out of town for breakfast and shopping at a nearby small touristic city in front of a lake. We came back home quickly because the place was getting crowded for the New Year celebration with fireworks and shit (those poor stray dogs). Even the road was a little dangerous, it was raining and there were many cars violating the speed limit and passing one another. So many irresponsible people behind the wheel. Eventually we ran into a multiple car crash. Nothing too serious, as there seemed to be no injured people, but come on. Would it hurt to slow down a little?

It was a short but very nice trip. We ate delicious food, bought neat stuff and saw the lake. It was pretty much the only real entertainment we were able to provide to my nephew, out of all the things we had planned for his visit.

On the plus side, while I feel sorry -guilty even, although it's no one's fault- that he found himself among such unfortunate situations, I am grateful and satisfied. And I think he feels the same. Pretty much every minute with him counts as quality time. It's great having him around. He's a hoot and I'll miss driving with him sitting in the back, singing along to whatever song is on because apparently he just fucking knows them all. We laugh a lot, the three of us. He gave Andrew and I a christmas card in which he'd written how happy he was to be with us and he shows it. He enjoys life and he's helped us, specially Andrew, to navigate these difficult times. So it's all good.

We're about to check-in his flight. He leaves on friday. I'm starting to get really sad about it. But we still have a couple of days to enjoy together. So I'll go do that.

Well...no year-in-review entry, I guess. Here's a quickie: part of my family came to visit; I got married; I became a professor; we bought a car; I started earning more money but also lost a lot of my savings with everything that's been going on these months; I was published as co-author in several journals; I gained a brother-in-law and lost him a month later; Andrew and I rescued cats and dogs (our current foster will be up for adoption next week). It's a very superficial review but it's off the top of my head. I'm thankful for the good things, and thankful for the growth and lessons from the bad things.

Happy new year, dear reader!

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