Today my mom, dad and I went to the wake for Bri Her.oux. She is the wife of my ex-boyfriend/family friend, Andy, that I posted about a few days ago. DH and I talked a lot about it before I went and we were both upset and sad over this horrible situation. DH really wanted to go also, but felt that since he had never met Andy in person that it would not be appropriate to go.
When we got to the funeral home at 3:00 when it started there were already so many people there. Most notably, I saw squad cars from the City of Still.water (where Bri was a police officer), City of St Pa.ul (where Andy is a police officer), Minn.esota State Tro.oper (where Bri worked in dispatch) and Still.water Fire Department. I was moved instantly when I pulled into the parking lot and saw her squad car with flowers and stuffed animals all over it. The lights on top of the squad were draped in black.
As we entered the building my mom and I began tearing up and there was already a lot of people in line waiting to express their condolences to Andy and both Bri and Andy's family. As we got closer my dad said, "Andy just gave me a thumbs up" meaning that he was happy to see my dad. A few minutes later Andy looked up again in our direction and his eyes landed on mine. His face instantly lit up and he gave me a little wave. I started crying even more and gave a slight smile. I just can't believe that this poor woman who just gave birth is no longer here to see her son smile and to experience the joys of motherhood with her husband.
When we got up to Andy he gave my mom a hug and they talked for a minute. As my mom turned to greet Bri's parents and then Andy's parents, Andy looked at me and gave me a huge hug. I have never been hugged so tightly in my life. I was sobbing and he began to cry and we just hugged. When we pulled away he held my hands and said, "it has been a long time. Thank you so much for coming". I told him how sorry I was for his loss and that after all this time I didn't want to see him for this. By this time I was a wreck. After seeing his wife laying in the casket beside him I felt so much sorrow for all that they have been through.
As I passed Bri's parents I said, "Hi. I'm just a friend of Andy's. I am so terribly sorry for your loss". They were so gracious as they shook my hand and thanked me for coming.
When I saw Andy's mom we embraced and this was the second time that I was hugged so hard. She began crying when she was hugging me and I was again sobbing and telling her and Andy's dad how sorry I was for their loss. They told my mom, dad and I how much they appreciated us coming and how nice it was to see all of us. We chatted for a couple of minutes and Andy's mom asked me when I was due, his dad told me that he would have Andy call DH and I if he needed help with anything, they complimented me on my DH and Logan, and his dad asked if I make chocolate chip cookies (apparently he loves chocolate chip cookies and when I offered to help in any way he thought he might as well as for cookies, LOL:))
As my mom, dad and I left we talked about our conversations with Andy and Bri and Andy's families. My dad told Andy that our family will always be there for him. I thought this was so appropriate. Everyone in my family had a really good relationship with Andy and even when we stopped dating, my dad continued to be friends with him. DH and I were talking last night and he believes that if there is anything that we could possibly do to help Andy and his baby boy, that we will. In situations such as this how do you not help out, regardless of any past history you have with that person?
I will continue to hope, wish and pray for Andy, his baby boy and their families. They hold a special place in my heart and I will remember them all forever. As their baby boy grows I hope that he resembles his mommy in so many ways to remind her family that her spirit is still alive and that an angel in heaven surrounds them. Rest in Peace, Bri.
To read more about Bri, her baby boy and Andy, follow these links: