Losing a Loved One In Upstate New York
I recently buried my boyfriend here in Buffalo, in the sweltering heat of August. And I wanted to finally take the time to talk about my experience of his death.
Let me tell you, this was overall not a pleasant experience. Don’t get me wrong, the funeral itself was fine, and the company I chose to help plan and take care of things did a fine job. It’s just not something I was prepared to do at 34 years of age, let alone with someone who I was hoping to spend the rest of my life with but we weren’t even engaged yet.
A little background:
I met Benjamin at NYU in 2012, we were doing post-grad work and met in the library. Very cliche. He was cute, intelligent, cute, and cute. He caught me off guard because while I had chosen to remain very vigilant about my studies up til that point, he managed to slowly bring me out of my shell and wear me down until I agreed to go on a date with him. He charmed my pants off (quite literally, and I am not usually like that on the first date).
We quickly settled into a routine together, introduced each other to the other’s parents, and we were a couple. Every moment with him was amazing, but he could be especially cool about certain aspects of life. Whereas I wanted to keep up with the latest goings-on of our friends on Facebook, he could rarely stand to hear even the quickest description of what so-and-so was up to or the ridiculous images our friend’s posted while at the drag show over the weekend. That didn’t stop us from GOING to the drag show mind you, but Bennie was just not one of those guys that had a fear of missing out.
Fast-forward 4 years and now he may not be worried about missing out, but I am going to miss out on him for the rest of my life. It was a terrible accident and while the other person was at fault, it seems little will be done beyond an insurance payout (no thank you), and a trite apology from the offender. Benjamin had so much going for him and I will grieve over his absence for the rest of my days.
Bennie’s parents could not handle having to prepare a funeral for their only son, and I can hardly blame them. That they asked me to take the reigns of this dreadful affair, showed me that I was really a part of his life and that they respected our relationship. I can’t thank them enough for that respect and honor, but I also wish I didn’t have to be the one they turned to. After all, I was grieving my loss too and having to think SO MUCH about him during this process made it even harder. What would he have liked? What music did he want people to hear? Did he want a glum black shawl event, or something as vibrant as he was?
These are questions I spent two weeks dreading over, but thankfully the funeral home that I dealt with (here is their YouTube video link if you ever have a need [which I hope you do NOT]:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE_WenSrm3w) was extremely helpful in the decision making. They gave me a lot of great guidelines to work off of, and took the lead during the handful of times I just couldn’t think about him for another minute.
Overall, the event was nice, I think it paid him the respect he deserved, he would have HATED how hot it was though. Truly disgusting temperatures to be dealing with at a funeral let alone any other day.
I just hope that Benjamin knows that I love him and nothing will ever stop me from loving him even now. And I hope I did right by him with this funeral.