Let me say this, and be clear - funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.
There is a certain arrogance in our humanity that convinces us that the dead are listening to our insignificant words of sympathy and grief, a sadistic need to watch as the casket is lowered into the ground, a selfish desire to take that final opportunity to say the things we didn't, to attempt to assuage our guilt or emphasize our love.
Nova is gone.
The emptiness of my arms is all the convincing I need. He can no longer hear my tears or declarations of love, but for four months and four days he knew that he was loved beyond expression. Every moment he was in my arms, from his first breath, we adored him, and he was comfortable in that knowledge because we showed him.
He isn't looming somewhere above or below us waiting for us to say the things we never did, but should have, he isn't expecting some too-late apology for wrongs we perceive that we have committed against him.
And he is not the empty lifeless form inside a 36" box waiting to be swallowed by the earth. He is not.
He is the magnetic force that has brought together hundreds of people he never met. He is an indescribable energy that changed people's lives, touched people's hearts, brought tears to innumerable eyes. He is the reason I received a note from the mother of a 21 year old man in a state Nova never even heard of - an email to thank me for changing her son's life by telling Nova's story.
He is the beautiful face and courageous heart that touched people in ways I can't even explain - he is the stimulus that brought about a generosity of spirit that I have never before experienced.
I will always miss him, I am left missing a part of me that can never be replaced, aching for another moment to hold him, smell him, feel him against me in the quiet of night.
I will also live feeling a sense of pride in what he accomplished in so short a time, blessed by having had the chance to see his beautiful smile and know it was for me. And I will always feel honored to have carried him inside of me, honored to have given birth to the phenomena that is Nova.