I was home from Friday through Sunday. It was very strange being all the way out there for only a couple days. Late Friday night Wes and Val's house was just packed full of people, the boys had just gotten tattoos done with Chad's initials, and some people were upstairs creating collages for the memorial. Chad's friends were everywhere - the cul-de-sac was full of cars.
Todd and I left to get some more pictures that Todd had at Dad's house, and his cell phone rang constantly with friends from IU getting directions to Goshen. Each day there was something about Chad in the newspaper. There was constant motion - we were always on our way to somewhere. Multiply this by about 80 relatives.
Over 1000 people came to the memorial Saturday - Wes and Val hugged people for about 12 hours. Floral arrangements lined the wall all away around the gym of their church. Mayors sent flowers. Wes' high school graduating class of 1975 sent flowers. Names of people from my childhood were on flower arrangements. It was incredible.
Guys from IU showed up and saw the tattoos and asked where to get theirs right away.
That night, before Wes and Val got home, many of Chad's friends and neighbors filled paper bags with sand and candles, and each bag had a note written to Chad on it. There were so many of them, the house was lit up from down the road. We lined the sidewalk, the driveway, and the walkway to the front door. They didn't get home until about midnight - it lit their way to the house.
Sunday was the burial and the funeral. The cemetary at their church has headstones from the 1800's.

As I write this, it's been over a month since Chad died. He's on the Gen 3 Culver Kids page. I can't seem to write an "update". When I send an e-mail, his name and e-mail is in my contacts. I can't remove it. I don't know what to say to my brother. I couldn't update my website until I had this page done. I thought this page would help me but it's just pictures and they are far from closure.

The burial before the funeral - tons of people showed up early to attend.

Wes at the burial. He said final words.

Going back into the church.
I found this photo moving because of all of the people with their arms around each other. All weekend it was unbelievable how many people showed up. Weeks later, I saw this photo, and I see so many people I don't even know that are mourning the same loss.

More of the emotional crowd.

Waiting in a crowded room in the church.
Friends and family wore jeans and white oxford shirts, Chad's signature outfit.
Many of these guys got tattoos with Chad's initials - on the right and below is Wes and Val (Chad's parents) and Craig and Chelsea (Chad's brother and sister) and my brother Todd.

(Karyn), Grandpa & Grandma, Herb, Arlene, Roger, Rosanna, Jesse, Chip, Denise.

Preparing to carry out the casket. Todd was nervous because he didn't know what he was supposed to do. I assured him that nobody expects him to know what to do. Nobody knew.

My Mom came to the funeral, and it was nice to have her there.
She saw a lot of my Dad's relatives that she hadn't seen in years.

My cousins Jesse and Ben

Joel and I

Gen 3 Culver Kids.
Eugenio (foreign exchange student), Jesse (2nd cousin), Laura, Brittany, Ben, Me, Joel, Jamey, Craig, Ben, Bradley, Todd.
Chelsea not pictured; Dylan and Lukas, the youngest, stayed in California