Hi Dr. Laura,
I just watched the video "Should His Girlfriend Be in the Funeral" and I couldn't agree with you more.
My 21-year-old son Jeffrey was hit by a car while crossing the street last November. His girlfriend, Laura, was the first to get to him and then alert the family. Jeffrey suffered massive brain injuries and died from his injuries three days after the accident. Even though we hadn't met Laura during their two year relationship (long story) I insisted she be included in everything, as long as she was comfortable with it.
Laura was at the wake hanging out with Jeffrey's five other siblings and all of their friends. She sat with us at the funeral Mass and if my memory serves me correctly, she joined my other children bringing up the gifts during the Mass. She rode with us in the limo and was with us until the end of the service at the cemetery. At that point she had had enough and decided to walk home. Her mom was there for her and I'm sure still is.
Laura was a big help to us. She had tons of pictures of Jeffrey and herself which we used in a slide show presentation and on memory boards. She also assured me, when I told her Jeffrey was going to be an organ donor, that they had talked about organ donation and Jeffrey strongly believed in it.
After Jeffrey's death, I came to realize he wasn't mine, he was only on loan. I also realized he had been on loan to a lot of people - Jeffrey touched a lot of lives. We were blessed to have had him with us for almost 22 years. Jeffrey is where God knows is best for him. As I said in my son's eulogy; for whatever reason, God in His goodness and mercy knew it was Jeffrey's time.
There will always be a piece of my heart missing, but I know where it is. It is with my Jeffrey, waiting for me to join him.
So yes, to all grieving families, please include boy/girlfriends and close friends if possible too.