September 9, 2019

Utah & Grandpa's Funeral

I am not really sure how to start this post. At the moment, I think it is probably best to just pick up where the last post left off.


Thursday morning Andy went to work for a few hours. I continued cleaning the house and packing our bags-- having roughly 24 hours to re-book your plane tickets, unpack bags for 4 people, wash all the laundry, repack the bags all while watching two littles was no easy task. A good friend of ours dropped us off at the airport and next thing I knew we were on our way to Utah.

Getting on the airplane was not an easy thing for me. At this point in time, I was not even sure if I was going to go to the funeral. Thoughts of being in the same state as that family member who has been emotionally abusive to me causes me to feel anxiety. The thought of being in the same room as that person, caused those feelings of anxiety to skyrocket.

The boys did great on the flight! This was Bear's first time flying.  I'm grateful we had a direct flight and that it was only 2 hours.

Bubba, Me & Bear.



After some discussion, Andy and I agreed that we would not be taking the boys to the funeral. Neither of us felt safe being around this emotionally abusive family member, so we were not even going to entertain the thought of having our boys there. It was agreed upon that if we could not find someone who could watch our boys that I would not be attending the funeral. Upon arriving in Utah, we started making some calls to see if we could find someone to watch the boys.

Thursday night I was able to go visit one of my old roommates, Breann. Breann lives 5-10 minutes away from my parents new house. This was the first time I had seen her in years, it was so good to catch up! We stayed up way too late, haha, just like the good old days.


Bear & Me.

Friday morning Andy and I went and did an Endowment Session at the Bountiful Temple. One of my life goals is to perform an ordinance in every temple, in every state I have ever lived in (Washington, Idaho, Oregon & Utah). This was my first time to the Bountiful Temple, it is the biggest temple I think I have ever been to-- it is massive and very beautiful.

I'm really glad that my family was able to watch our two boys so Andy and I could attend the temple. It was good to have some time alone, just the two of us to talk, think and meditate.


Friday afternoon we headed out to the Uintah Basin-- during our drive Andy continued to make some phone calls to see if there was anyone who could watch our boys. I don't know if I would call it luck or not, but we found someone who was able and willing to watch our little boys.

Friday night there was a viewing for Andy's grandpa. Andy really wanted our little boys to see their great grandpa one last time. We knew the boys would not be given that opportunity the next day. When we pulled up to the mortuary, our hearts sank, that emotionally abusive family member's car was in the parking lot. About this same time text messages started coming in from family asking where we were and if we were going to make it. We drove a few blocks away and parked. It was pouring rain and we cried. We knew we couldn't go in there while that emotionally abusive family member was there.

Someone we love and trust came and found us. They had scoped out the room and formulated a plan for how to get us in and out without running into that family member we didn't want to see. God was on our side, just as this plan was being formulated that emotionally abusive family member left-- what a blessing for us.

Lots of tears were shed for the loss of Grandpa. And lots of love was extended to us, by the rest of the family that we hadn't seen in years.

We spent the night at Andy's cousin Blake's house. Blake and Amanda had two rooms for us, which was perfect. Andy's cousin's Ty and Mel and their two boys stayed at the house with us too.


Saturday was a hard day. We dropped the boys off with the baby sitter, I hate being away from my boys. We didn't tell anyone who was watching them because we didn't want the emotionally abusive family member to find out where they were. And then we headed to the church. I can't tell you how many prayers I said, a lot.

We walked into the church and I held on tight to Andy's hand. We knew at any moment we could come face to face with the family member we did not want to see. Thankfully we ran into my parents first. Then we went into the Relief Society Room and said our last good byes to Grandpa before they closed the casket. About this time, I spied that emotionally abusive family member out of the corner of my eye. I held on even tighter to Andy.

Before long we proceeded to the chapel and took our seats on the pew. I am not sure why, but the person we did not want to see, chose to sit two people away from us. Maybe it was for appearances sake, to try and act like nothing was wrong; regardless, it annoyed me and made me incredibly uncomfortable.

Andy's dad presided over the funeral service. He said that Grandpa wanted a short funeral with lots of music. Grandpa's funeral had lots of music, but it was not short by any means. Each of his children spoke and shared their favorite stories of Grandpa and life growing up on the farm. It was a wonderful tribute to the life and legacy Grandpa left behind.

That emotionally abusive family member sang during the service. I couldn't bring myself to look at them. Andy looked at them, but they would not look back at him.

After the funeral we headed to the cemetery. Andy was one of the pall bearers. Grandpa's grave was dedicated and we headed back to the church for the luncheon.

It is my personal belief that Grandpa had a feeling he was going to pass. He built his own casket out of elm wood from a tree he cut down in his yard. Just a week or two before he passed he called to say hi. Then he paid the mortuary in advance for his own funeral complete with flowers and he made some changes to his will.

Grandpa cutting his elm tree into planks.

Grandma faithfully by his side.

At the luncheon my guard was up at all time, I tried to know where that emotionally abusive family member was at all times.

After we ate, my stepmom and I walked out to the car to get a few things. When we walked back into the church we were met by my Dad and Andy. My Dad looked at me and with tears in his eyes and in his I mean business tone he said, "We need to talk." I said, "Who's we?" He replied, "All eight of us." I knew instantly who he was talking about: Dad, Julie, me, Andy, the emotionally abusive family member, their spouse and their parents. I'm sure I turned white. Adrenaline instantly started coursing through my body. I said, "They already left." I had seen this individual and their spouse walk out the door. My Dad said, "They're still here." I'm not the swearing type, but I said,"I might swear." Julie said, "That's okay. First we cuss, then we discuss."

A few minutes later I found myself sitting across a small room, face to face with the person who set out to destroy me as an individual and my marriage and I was not at all thrilled to be there.

My Dad started the discussion. It ended with nearly everyone in tears and me being embraced-- this was a first. I'm not sure what will come of this experience. A door has been opened but time will tell. I may share more about this experience after I have had some time to process everything that went on.

Then we grabbed our boys and headed back to Blake's house. I was really glad to be reunited with my boys.

That evening we headed over to Grandma's house so Bubba could go on a tractor ride. While we were in Washington Andy's Dad and I cried together on the phone. I told him how afraid I was to fly to Utah and to attend the funeral with that emotionally abusive family member. I made a deal with him, if I went to the funeral, he had to take his grandson on a tractor ride. I knew this wouldn't be an easy thing for him to do and that he would likely have some PTSD like me because of everything he just went through. He happily took Bubba out to level the sod field, he even let Bubba help him drive. Bubba loved every minute of it!

Bubba & Grandpa.

Can't tell you how many hours I have spent driving that very tractor.

That night Andy stayed up way too late with his cousins childhood best friend-- it was like old times for him.


Sunday we slept in. We headed over to Andy's Aunt and Uncle's house with his cousins for lunch. We agreed to let the emotionally abusive family member meet our boys briefly before they headed home-- this made me very uncomfortable. They were on their best behavior and things went okay.