Today was Jilli's funeral. I have cried so much today. My heart just aches and my eyes, so swollen from tears. My friend Jenny and I wore leopard for Jillibean, today. Leopard was her FAV0RITE! EVERYTHING was leopard. We had to wear it.
Here's just a little taste of Jill's impact on people: There were over 800 people at this funeral. 800. And being one of the first to come in, I was overwhelmed with warmth, seeing everyone from near and far.
As I walked up to the family, I saw Jilli's brother's, Andy and Rob, her Grandma, "Grandma" (ha), her Mommy, Nancy, and her Dad, Phil. Guys, Nancy saw me and fell into my arms. "0h Julz," she cried. She held me so tight. I just said, "Nance, I'm just so sorry, I'm just so sorry," and I held her. And in her hand that had held mine so, I placed this Golden Pocket Angel.
And took my seat. My heart hurt so. It was like I couldn't cry hard enough. It felt so wrong, so cruel, so mean. It was absolutely horrible, and for Jilli's mommy, her worst nightmare.
I was heartbroken. Nancy's heart sang for her daughter. Jill was her everything and I mean, everything.
After about an hour or so, the Rabbi came to a pause. "And now... We will hear from Nancy." I swear you heard the angel's weeping. I couldn't believe she was going to do this. How could she do this?
But how could she not do this.
"I wrote my daughter a letter, because, it was what I needed to do... My Jilli..."
She told Jill that she'll never forget the first time she ever saw her, and how perfect she was. How Jilli never judged or hurt anyone. And if she ever said anything that made another feel pain, she was plagued with such regret so shortly after. She said that she'll never forget when Jilli took her last breath in Nancy's arms, and the doctors took her away from her. She told her that she was sorry to be such a selfish mother, because even though Jilli was in pain, she wanted her back in her arms, from that moment on, and that she longed to touch her soft face, to hold her precious body, and to have her baby with her.
Nancy cried so during this letter, as we all did. As I looked on, I felt so much grief, so much sadness for Nance. This was so unfair. So horrible for her. Just so g-ddamn WR0NG. And I felt selfish, too, because, more than anything, I want my Jilli back. I pray that I'll just wake up already. It is such a frightening feeling. I want to see her there in front of me, holding her hands in mine. I just want to see her smiling eyes again. Not only once more, but thousands of times more. Is that too much to ask?
I found myself overcome with so many why's and how's and WHEN's it going to be over so I can wake the hell up already. Please G-d just let me wake the hell up, already, I can't bare it any longer. It's starting to become real, and it makes my skin crawl, and my hair stand on end. If there's anyone up there just please wake me up, already, I prayed, over and over and over again.
There was somebody there with me, but more on that in a minute.
As the time came near for the casket to be taken, Jilli's brothers Andy and Rob, along with two men from the synagogue, approached the task, with such truth. They were with her and she with them. As they went to lift it, I felt a twinge in my spine and quickly turned to my Mom, "Mom, I have something I need to give to her." She gave me that motherly look of guidance and trust that read, "It's okay." And I reached over to touch Andy's shoulder as he passed us. "Andy," I whispered as he quickly turned to me, "Please give this to her, for me." And in his hand, I placed this Silver Pocket Angel.
He gave me a nod, with the squint of his nose, and off they went.
After the service, a few of us went back to Jenny's house to sit on the couch and be together. At around 2:15 I texted my Mom: "Hi Mommy, I love you so much how are you?" She texted me back: "Hi baby, I'm okay, I love you too." Followed by: "Jill wanted to come?"
I paused, and responded with "What?"
Then she called me: "Why did you write that?" She asked me. "What?"
"My phone only vibrated once but when I went to check your text it had two from you, the first reading, 'Jilli wanted to come.' "
"I never wrote that," I told her, as my voice started shaking. My friends all stopped their chatter and turned to me, as my eyes welled up with tears. "It said, 'Jilli wanted to come?!' "
"I'll show you tonight. Julzybabe, she's gear with you. Hang on a second."
"I just got a text from no number reading, 'Julzie' " She quietly murmured.
Chills rushed up and down my spine, as she told me. That was what Jilli called me - "Julzie". It was Jilli. She was there and I had felt her there so strongly. My heart felt alive, my body, free from the constrictions of mourning. She was telling me that she still WAS here. She always would be. She'd always be my Jilli, and I, always her Julzie.
I just wished I could hug her at that moment. It was just so hard.
Later on this evening, we went to be with the family, to sit Shiva . I told Nancy how I wanted to be here for her, That I wanted to have her in my life, and be in hers. I wanted her to still come to my performances and experience things with her, and she with me. I just want Nance to have a daughter again, and while I know I could never be that for her, I want her to be able to watch me grow, see, and do all that Jillian would have. I just love her so much and care about her, endlessly.
But it was just so hard. I didn't want to leave that house. It frightened me to leave. I didn't want to leave My Jilli behind. I am so afraid of losing her. It is an anxiety that I am not sure, will ever heal...
As my mom and I were leaving, Andy approached me. He whispered in my ear, "I just want you to know, I gave it to her."
And with that, I had her with me.
I miss Jill so much. I can't even tell you. I've cried so much, and for so long, I'm afraid I'll never stop. What if my heart just gets so tired, that it breaks? Everything reminds me of her and I don't want anything ever not to. I am afraid to go to sleep. Tomorrow will be another day, gone, without her here. I don't want that. What do I do? How do I just go on? Go to class? Listen to lectures? Hold discussions? How can I when she isn't here anymore???
I need someone to just tell me how to wake up from this...