The Second Funeral

I have several topics rick racking my brain today. I want to post about my first angry comment to a blog, and what it provoked, what changed as the result. I want to post about Lola and I moving in to bunk beds, no “roomie” is more comical, every day I have a better story.


Then, my job, my therapist, the first assignment of having to put my picture in a frame, to “say nice things” to the little girl within.

I have been assigned to bring her treats, people.

I want to draw a mustache, give her a bottle of jager, tell her to sleep it off, but even that I have been procrastinating. Thelma and I can’t let the jokes go long enough to be serious.

But, what lies in the pit of my stomach, aching to be expressed, scratching my inner thoughts like a claw to a kitty pole, is my sister by soul, Heather Murphy.

She asked I use her real name.

You see, this woman, a friend of mine by a year or so, although sorrow tells time in a different way, if you ask me. Time is measured by the stories we share, the pieces we let strangers see, the depth of us that loved ones may go to the grave never shown. They can know all our traits, but pass right by us, strangers to the stories we hold locked..

It is a key we share, and so time becomes marked by who is given a key, and who is hidden as we hide the key away, under the mat of our hearts.

Heather’s child, Olivia Garcia, at one years old, was murdered by her best friend, involuntary manslaughter, the details horrifying, and to make it even more ghastly, extremely public.

Her once dear friend, Oliva’s Godmother, Amanda Brumfield, is the estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton, so my stomach sickens as I watch my cursor spell his name, blink and wave, my thoughts on this blog run rapidly through emotions, on a time belt I can’t control the speed.

Olivia, who died the day before her first birthday, I revisited a year ago in a blog, “Olivia Maddy Marie, a “Tribute” for Heather Murphy“, being careful to not disclose any information that might affect her trial.

Now the trial is over, Heather’s reality is a hell not only she had to revisit on stand, not allowed to cry, having to see this woman who hurt her baby, witness photos no mother can imagine, swallow guilt that no person should have to endure, not by media, not for this.

I have a new outlook on life because of her, on what we read, on money and fame, magazines, news feed and journalists. It makes me sick.

Divorcee casually discussed the trial while reading People Magazine on-line, my knees giving out, blood rushing to my head, forcing me to sit down. I had not yet known the verdict.

“Wow. Thirteen to Thirty years for Involuntary Manslaughter,” he gasped.

I blurred the news with my hands, hoping to filter anything I could not handle in the moment, when one teeny thing caught my eye.

A fucking Facebook “Like” button, that’s what.

What have we come to? I could piss fire on this moment alone, much less the public misinformation, the reality of her nightmare, her agony that Baby Liv is googled, and all her name shows are Billy Bob Thornton photos and media accounts of this woman, this daughter of a celebrity, estranged.

Heather Murphy, a victim, is a person, real to me, your sister, friend, boss. To see her agonized if she should do “Inside Edition” for they will ask her God knows what, for news, while she worries she will be seen as a mother wanting her moment in the public eye. Then, she feels sadness and anger, Baby Liv is not even seen as a little girl, her girl, a sissy lost forever, and the sentence Heather received will never end, not ever. She wants her baby to be seen, her voice heard, to matter.

And so, she is asking me to help her with the day she does speak, to the jury, to the world, and so, “Will I take photos of her baby things, her little keepsakes only a mommy can cry upon knowing the importance, the ashes, the memory book?”

I cry at just the thought of what it must feel to be her, and fear it just as much, then my own wretched hope that she be heard is an aching tunnel, a hollow echo, a dark hall I know she walks every day, but will people turn, look, turn on the light?

I don’t know.

Maybe not, but I will light a torch, for Olivia Garcia, will use my keystrokes, my camera, my voice, my outrage. I will burn the hall behind me, no father or a platform, nothing of importance to offer the public, no dirt to offer the media to eat, a dry dust in my mouth is the Ribeye steak they drool for, and yet, always hungry, never satisfied.

No one wants to be famous for this, and Olivia is gone, a discussion for people over breakfast, her pain raw as an unbeaten egg in your blender, the details of her dead child a passing discussion, while passing the butter.

I do know what I don’t have, but there is one thing I got.

I have love.

In the end, it is all life is worth.

For Heather, I will always answer “yes,” her wedding to a man I saw her meet, I am so thankful to photograph, even if it is heartbreaking to watch her plan, the details Bridezillas go nuts over, she hasn’t the energy to even care.

While I was thinking of this, this song came on, chilling me, her words etched in my heart over the phone, “You know,” she said.

“It will be the sentencing, but really, it will be my arrival to her second funeral.”

If you will, repost, stumble, and most of all, pray.

I strongly believe prayer is the bullet on which our voice rides, and this woman needs ammo, the only kind love is made from.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s