While Cindy Higdon buried her murdered son, thieves ransacked the Kentucky home she shares with her husband and children, tearing the place to pieces and making off with valuables.
Higdon has one word to describe her week: "Hell."
"I can't do this anymore," she said.
The Higdons were marking the anniversary of the death of their daughter Jenna, who died in a car accident at age 9, when they were met by police officers at the door of their rural Clarkson, Ky., home. They were told their son Christian, 20, had been killed by a man with a hatchet after getting into an argument with him at an Elizabethtown apartment.
The 20-year-old, who the Higdons adopted from Guatemala as a child, had been hooked on spice, a synthetic marijuana, and in and out of rehab centers, his mother said. He had been scheduled to enter an intensive program that Monday.
"It was unreal. I wanted to believe anything but he was dead," Higdon said. "This was just the beginning."
On Wednesday, as the Higdons prepared to lay their son to rest, thieves got to work, entering through the unlocked door of their five-bedroom country home and "left nothing unturned."
When Higdon and her family returned from the funeral and burial, which lasted five and a half hours, they found their home in shambles.
"They took guns, jewelry, laptops, money," said Higdon. "We got home and the last thing we wanted to do was clean up this mess."
Police advised Higdon that a person who participated in the burglary was likely among the mourners at Higdon's funeral, serving as a lookout person.
"The detectives said the guilty one will make sure he's seen and be there for the whole thing," she said.
Higdon said she was grieving and didn't pay much attention to the packed house of other mourners.
Amazingly, the thieves missed one valuable: a laptop that had been placed under a Bible.
"Do you think the thieves didn't take it because they felt bad?" Higdon said she asked detectives, trying to find some sort of religious solace in her week from hell.
But the detectives gave her an unequivocal answer: No.
Higdon said she plans to look for her items in local pawn shops, but right now she is just trying to grieve for her son, who left behind a 10-month-old son of his own.
Christian's final words, relayed to her by a Samaritan who called 911, are bringing Higdon comfort.
"Tell my family I love them," he said.