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Funerals are funny things.
All of the funerals I've been to in my lifetime, and that's all I can think to say about them. Painful and awkward could work too, yeah, but funny just seems to fit better. Especially considering the ones I've been to.
I remember Dad's. Only a few people bothered to come, and none of them knew what to say. I spent the whole time wondering if I should be laughing or crying. Eventually, I just had a complete break down in my foster parents' kitchen. Everything was just too much for me to handle.
A few years later, my older brother overdosed. Not really a surprise. I still remember him creeping into Mom and Dad's room and taking some of their private stash. I'm not sure why I thought the weed under his bed was dirt; I should have known better than that.
His funeral was a lot simpler than Dad's. People had cared about him. They knew he was a decent person despite everything. I just sat in a quiet corner and waited for it to be over. I actually met my first girlfriend at his funeral, which never ceased to be a source of hysterical laughter for me.
Thankfully, I didn't have to deal with any more funerals for a long time. Not until Eddie's case came along.
It's funny. As far as cases go, it was one of the least horrific I'd ever had the pleasure of dealing with. And yet his is the one I keep on my desk at all times. If any of my co-workers bothered to think about it, they'd probably expect me to hold on to a domestic violence case file. Not Eddie's.
Of course, they didn't see the look on Catherine's face when I told her I was calling it. If they had, then they'd understand. That case didn't drive me crazy; it broke my heart. That night I went over to Catherine's to talk to her. I ended up holding her while she cried.
I was surprised when she asked me to accompany her to Eddie's funeral. But I went with her anyways. I hate funerals, and I went with her. I held her hand while people talked about the sort of person he had been, leaving several major character flaws out.
Later, I drove her and Lindsey home. Catherine asked me to stay. At first, I didn't want to. I wanted to go back home and drink away the overwhelming pain of sitting through yet another funeral. A glass of wine and a kiss was all that it took to get me to stay.
We started to date. We spent every night off we had together. And for a while, she was okay with me not being an active participant in her daughter's life. Then I told her that I was in love with her. She mirrored the sentiment. After that, Lindsey shared a lot of the time I spent with my Catherine. I still didn't tell the woman I loved why I was so cautious around her daughter.
Then Mom died, and every little thing about my past came rushing out of me. Cat didn't leave me. She held me while I cried. Her firm grip prevented me from running away when I realized what I had told her. She and Lindsey both came with me to California for her funeral.
It wasn't actually a funeral, even if I call it that in my mind. It was a burial. I never would have been able to sit through the entire thing if it weren't for my family. My girls. My Cat and Linds. They were there for me, and I loved them for it. I don't think they'll ever know how grateful I am for the way they helped me.
We were really a family after that. I started calling Lindsey my daughter, and I was less shy about referring to Catherine as my partner.
Then Catherine got called in on one of her nights off. No big deal. That sort of thing happens a lot. I promised to make sure Linds got to bed on time and kissed her goodbye, telling her to be careful.
She was. I know she was careful. She loved me and Linds too much to take any sort of risk.
A kid shot her that night. Jim had been talking to the boy seconds before he lost it. He just took out a gun and started firing bullets all over the place. One bullet nicked her carotid artery. An ambulance arrived at the scene two minutes later.
I wrap my arms around Lindsey tightly and bite my lip to fight back the sobs waiting to break free.
Funerals really are funny things.
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