As the funeral arrangements for my sister Debra are being made, my parents are discussing whether to have an open or closed casket. Since Debra’s body was dragged under the car over one hundred feet and mutilated, they decide to keep the casket closed. As we sit behind a side curtain reserved for the family, my heart is sick; I hear tears flowing and the large group of mourners wailing. My very kind father stands, moves out, and does something that I wish I could have done with him. He asks respectfully “Please open the casket” whereupon he bends down and gently kisses my sister – his daughter – and says, sadly, “Goodbye.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, soon after Debra’s death, our mother puts a cherry on the disastrous cake; in the middle of the night, she secretly runs away with a sailor.