Today, is the two year Anniversary of my good Friend Chay’s Funeral.
It was one the most painful Funerals I’ve ever attended (and I have had my fair share).
I met Chay in 1999 when I was a Hostess at the infamous Cheddar’s Cafe in our town.
She was a Server and we clicked instantly. *(I didn’t know we attended the same Highschool).
I was only there Part-Time as I was attending Community College.
So, on my days off from School, her and I would spend Lunch-Breaks together.
Always the same thing, splitting the Chicken Quesadillas.
We sat in our booth in the section that was dedicated to the employees after the Lunch Rush, laughing, reminiscing on that day’s bullshit, and planning our epic weekend parties.
Her and I experienced a lot together in a short amount of time (I only worked there for four and half months). *She shared secrets with me that nobody knew at that time in her life. And she witnessed some horrific abuse I was going through.
After I was working at Applebees (Hostess), we would still see each other, mostly at parties.
By then, my life was heading toward my own death and I “disappeared” for a few months.
I saw her once in 2000 at my Ex Best-Friend’s Apartment.
I left for College (again) in early January 2001, and we didn’t see one another until Summer 2002.
We ran into each other at the Movies *(I was with my Mother, and she was with Boyfriend/Future Husband). We were ecstatic, we sat next to each other.
That was the last time I saw her alive.
We kept in contact through Social Networking, but never getting together *(Coming to find out we lived two blocks from each other when I relocated to Illinois in July 2011).
We messaged each other frequently and never missed Birthday Greetings.
She seemed different *(As I was). But, there was something missing, her laughter. I felt a sense of happiness gone from her *(I knew she had serious Health Problems and her Husband’s Job was extremely difficult [he was a Forensic Photographer for the Coroner’s Office] And she had two children [twins]).
Fast forward to January 2016.
I messaged her for her Birthday. She replied.
Less then a Month later, I received a PM from a name I didn’t recognize, so didn’t open/read it.
A week later, I decided to open the message.
It was her older Sister asking if I had heard/seen from Chay. She was Missing. *(I had only previously met one of her sisters and brother and they had different surnames).
I just talked to her a few weeks prior. What happened?
So, I investigated, using my KGB training.
She was in a Chicago Morgue for 7 Days and no one came to identify her, so her Family thought she was ‘Missing.’
I lost it.
I started making phone calls.
How can my Friend be lying in Morgue for a week and no one knows *(I did not know she had moved back to Chicago, but I did talk to her on her Birthday).
I messaged her Sister, asking about Funeral Arrangements. She never responded. Her Family Posted everything on her Social Media Page.
My Friend was dead and no one knew?
This was devastating to me.
So, I attended the Funeral (I was already Disabled and Driving is a no-no, but I didn’t care).
The Service was packed.
I met her Children.
And spoke to her now Ex-Husband (and met his new wife and their baby).
He asked me if I was ok.
I had to tell him.
“I spoke to her on her Birthday.”
His eyes, shifted, opened widely
“What, really?! How was she?”
How do the fuck I reply when her Children are there looking for their Mom.
So, from his reaction, I assumed I was one of the last individuals she spoke to *(I still have the messages).
As we took our seats so the Pastor could begin his Eulogy, there was a projector set up behind us with photographs of Chay.
As the Eulogy continued, that’s when the Service became overwhelming.
Her Father (whom I never met) fell side-ways out of the Funeral Parlor Chair shrieking then sobbing.
Two men assisted him back in his chair as I held back my tears. (I was sitting in the same row).
It took every ounce of my being not to fall back and weep, why was she in a Morgue for 7 days, unclaimed, to know I was one of the last she had spoken to, and most importantly, why did she pass away?
*The cause of her Death is still unknown to me.
I carried all of that for weeks.
My mourning slowly faded, but I see her everyday. Her Funeral Program is taped to my dresser mirror.
I miss you.