Today is Tuesday. The news people stayed away today, although we were told that Thursday might be a bit tough in that regard. Visitation this evening. Three hours felt like a lifetime, but we got through it.
Seeing her in the casket was not as terrible as I thought, and she was surrounded by her stuffed animals at the beginning of the evening, supplemented by tiny toys and thoughts from her friends by the end. She looked beautiful, even if she wasn't in that body anymore.
I didn't cry tonight. Oddly, I didn't even want to. My job was to comfort all the hundreds of people who came through, and that job, in itself, gave me comfort. There were quite a few of her classmates who came through, most of them wondering what happened to her. We were lucky enough to have a cardiologist friend explain her death to us in a way that makes sense to tell a fourth grader. We will plant a tree at the school in the spring, to help them have a place to go to talk with her. It was good to have that to tell them. I think it helped, in a small way.
Services are all planned for Thursday; everything is arranged. All that is left is tomorrow's marathon. Gosh, tonight we had more than 200 people in 3 hours. Tomorrow night will be twice that. I'm going to need a conveyor belt.
I talked with Kes tonight after everyone left. I told her she'd be touched by all the people who were here tonight. Her friends were very brave and her family focused on her incredibly bright spirit. A dear friend told me the other night that firecrackers can't burn forever, and he's right. But the bang Kiersten is leaving behind will last a long time I think.
It is late. Tomorrow will be a tough day. Time for sleep.