April 13, 2003

Memories and Funeral Planning

Today has been rough. Not as rough as yesterday, but not near anything resembling easy. I don't think that I have the words necessary to describe what it is like helping to plan the simultaneous funeral of four young teenagers.

I had a long talk with my friend Levi (the oldest son of the friends we are staying with) today. He is the one who took me up to LeTourneau to pick up clothes to wear to the funeral. Jessica was like a little sister to him and his two brothers. He is taking it hard, but he isn't showing it to many people. Like me, he is trying to not get too emotional around groups of people. I'm especially trying to not get emotional around my parents. They are having such a hard time that I don't want them worrying about how I am taking this.

Levi, unintentionally, sparked so many memories concerning Jessica. There are too many to try to write down right now, though I'll probably try to start writing some of them soon. Levi was also the last person from here who had contact with her before it happened. They were text messaging each other. They had been talking because Jessica hadn't wanted him to join the marines. Her last message to him was "I'll miss you."

My mother has pretty much taken over everything surrounding the funeral and visitation plans. She went to our house with my dad and the friends we are staying with to pick up pictures of Jessica and clothes for her funeral. Afterwards, they went to the funeral home to plan out the visitation. As of now, it is planned to be on Tuesday night, with the funeral on Wednesday morning. Because Mandy died Saturday afternoon, she was sent to be autopsied after Jessica, Justin, and Pless were. We don't know at the moment if she will be back at the same time as the others.

Naturally, the newspapers have messed up all the information around this. One even said that all of the kids belonged to one family. This has, quite obviously, pissed off a lot of people in my family. Hopefully it will get straightened out without any threats or harsh words from my relatives.

I said earlier in the week that writing stuff out was therapeutic. I know now just how true that statement really is. It is making me actually think about everything that has happened. As much as I hate doing it, I think that writing all of this has really helped me cope.

Posted by Randy at April 13, 2003 08:32 PM