Enough years have gone by in my life, enough experiences – good and bad, that I should have learned that ‘expecting’ should be the last choice you make. And Cid should have known that as well. He knew his mother and his uncle. He should have known. Perhaps he had chosen ‘hope’ over ‘expect’ – but he had made the wrong choice. Let me explain.
As I gathered my belongings that had accumulated over the last six weeks, his uncle approached me and asked if Cid’s mother could have a few things. She wanted a couple of his suits to keep for herself and I couldn’t see why not. Cid had been very specific about what suit he wanted to be buried in and I explained that to them. His mother glared at me while I did so and shut her eyes to block me out. I was adamant that I go by Cid’s wishes and that he be buried in the suit he had selected. I left them to it.
When I came into the bedroom much later to collect the last of my belongings, I found Cid’s mother frantically searching all of his suits for his gold cuff links. She wanted those gold cuff links and I helped her search for them but we couldn’t find them. In the end I just shrugged my shoulders and finished packing my bag.
Before I left I gave them my phone number so they could inform me of the day and time of the funeral. They were leaving to make arrangements to transport Cid’s body to Lethbridge and then following it. I spoke with the neighbours as I exited the building and they informed me they were arranging for a memorial in Edmonton and would let me know of the time and date.
When I finally arrived home, I threw myself into D’s arms and we both sobbed until we were cried out. I just couldn’t imagine our lives without Cid in them and the pain was almost too much to bear. But there was D – waiting patiently for me and sharing my pain – easing the burden. When I told him about the horrors that occurred in the seconds following Cid’s last breath – he said “They must have been hurting so much”. I leaned my head on his huge chest and closed my eyes – only to have that scene replay itself over and over. It certainly hadn’t been what I expected.
I attended the memorial service in Edmonton by myself and it was lovely. The service was quiet and the priest spoke so wonderfully about Cid. Many strangers came up to me and hugged me once the service was over. Afterwards I returned to Cid’s condo and let myself in with the key I still had. I discovered that his mother had ‘helped’ herself to most of Cid’s best items – even though he had said (right in front of her) that I was to get all his belongings. He had even told her that she didn’t need anything of his – she had enough. My first reaction was fury which gave way to resignation. I wasn’t going to fight her for her son’s belongings. But I did question Cid’s expectations once more.