And that’s where the details end. I’m not sure if my prior detail comes from having re-lived the sequence daily or twice for 13 years straight, unable to let it go.
Or maybe the lack of it from here forward is the indicator, where my mind blanked – the result of short-circuited overload.
The bits and pieces I recall are likely to be jumbled. So many things happened at once.
I don’t recall answering the door, but I was standing in the right place to maybe have. There was an officer inside, still on the threshold, asking me if there was anyone I could call to come be in the house with me.
“No one near here,” I said. I was thinking of Jeff’s family, my family. No one could be there immediately.
“A neighbor?” he offered. I thought about the couple across the street.
I don’t remember seeing any extra people arrive. I don’t recall them in the house. They must have been there, though, because, by that time, two police cars, a sheriff’s car, an ambulance were lined up.
When the officer returned, he told me that he’d woken my neighbors up and the man of the couple had burst into tears when he heard. He continued saying that my neighbor would be over in a little bit, once he got himself together. I don’t remember him arriving, but I know he was there.
I don’t know when I started making calls. I don’t recall being prompted. I’d been standing in the living room, close to the front door. Someone suggested I might want to sit down.
I can’t tell you which order they were in, but I made two phone calls from my seat on the couch.
I called my brother-in-law, who lived closest. My sister-in-law had answered the phone. He was at church with my niece and nephew. She’d been there to pick-up because she’d stayed home not feeling well.
I explained that Jeff was gone and the police were here and I needed him to know and to come. Immediately.
I suppose it could have waited until church was over. Nothing would have changed by then, but the urgency was real to me.
I phoned my mother to tell her Jeff was gone. I asked her to call my brothers. She offered a stunning excuse for not immediately coming. The call ended with an implied you’re-on-your-own request to just let her know when the funeral was and she would be there.
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