I'm realizing that I really want to write about and remember clearly what happened from the time we heard of Amber's death until the day I returned home to Vegas. But why?
That Sunday my mum's elder sister, who lives here in Vegas, was the one to reach me first on the phone after we'd returned from our weekend in LA for the angel boy-O's belated Burbank-held birthday party. Everyone had known we were to be returning from our weekend there, and no one had wanted to call us until they knew we were safely home. My Grandma Rae had left us a voicemail on our home answering machine, but we're notorious for not monitoring our messages (something we are now diligently working to improve each day). We hadn't gotten the message before my aunt Radeane called me. As soon as I heard her trembling voice, I knew it was all wrong...something was wrong... I braced myself, expecting to hear news that Grandma Rae was either already dead or deathly ill. "We've lost Amber," is what she told me, and my knees went out and I fell to the tile kitchen floor, almost hysterical, instantly, as Radeane began coaching me over the phone to please breathe, and my honey-man came running down the stairs.
At some point the following day, both my aunt and my honey-man had told me I could not go to the funeral, period. They said I wouldn't be able to go up there and take it easy and not try to do a million things, and they didn't want me to over do it and get sick or cause problems for the pregnancy. I was horrified at the thought of missing the funeral... They kept telling me they both couldn't trust that I would self-manage [I admit, at most times I'm prone to overdo it]. Maybe it was my many promises that I'd be good, or my convincing, exhaustive explanation that I knew well enough that I was not to go up there and babysit or clean house or go grocery shopping or run any errands at all, etc., etc., but I really think the two changed their minds when fat, heavy tears began to roll as I pleaded with them, "If I miss this, how will I be able to face Trevor the next time I see him?", followed by my repeatedly sobbing, "I need to be there. I have to be there for me. You can't not let me go." My aunt then changed her plans... she and I would fly to Salt Lake together the next day, Tuesday the 12th.
What I knew is this much: In times of loss and deep heartache, those who make themselves available to each other, they grow closer together, and people can accomplish amazing and miraculous things when they come together in times of need, and I desperately, desperately did not want to miss that chance with my family.
So again, why write about all this? This experience thus far has been remarkable... remarkably painful, and yet remarkably inspiring; the things we all learned and what we're still learning, the things we all did and what all happened in the days following Amber's death; most importantly, ALL THE LOVE. And someday Amber's children, who most likely won't remember anything about the funeral, nor their sweet mommy, they'll want to know what happened. I'm certain they will have many verbal and possibly written accounts available to them... but for me and my mum, specifically referring to the time before and after her funerals (one in MT, another in ID), although I was 12 years old, I was incapable of retaining a full, accurate account of what went on during that time, and if anyone wrote it down, I haven't yet seen it. And as for my talking to or asking people about my mother's death? Not many have ever wanted to actually retell the story. For me though, any retelling has helped me immensely. Even pictures taken days after the funeral at the cemetery grounds when we were checking on my mum's funeral flowers in the snow (who took the photos, to this day I still don't know - - I found them hidden in an old hardwood writing desk of my mother's, stashed in my parents' basement storage room years later), those pictures were helpful to me, even therapeutic for me, seeing I had been surrounded by people who loved me and I looked like I would be okay.
I'm hoping I may someday be someone who could help Trevor and Amber's children piece together what all happened and possibly someday provide them some comfort - - I even took pictures throughout that week, hoping that someday, if they or anyone wants to see them, they'll be able to see all the love and the life force that went into caring for them and their dear father after losing their precious mother, Amber Ellen Ward Jacobson.