The Eulogy

Folder: 
Vignettes

 

Nineteen years, 364 days too long had he stayed. By the time, a few months in, he had come to the decision to close the chapter on the relationship and move along, there was a baby on the way, and he could not do to it what had been done to him. He had learned many things by staying, lessons that could only be taught by the specifics of his particular crevice. And he wondered bitterly sometimes that maybe they were lessons his father had skipped out on and left behind for him as some lousy inheritance. Lessons such as how to deal with hysteria through tact & reserve and that to withdraw from conflict is the real victory. He observed that marriage is less about love & devotion and more about power struģgle & compromise and that a legal piece of paper does not ensure loyalty or fidelity. He learned that the desire you sacrifice to preserve the integrity of love serves to enhance it, that 'til-death-do-us-part is a lie told by those terrified of being alone and a truth told to the one whom you would not be away from for a day. And perhaps most importantly, that a feeling of comfort and sense of security were not founded on having a body next to you in bed at night. 

Now he sat in the front pew of a church they had never attended, while friends, relatives & colleagues took turns praising his late wife from the pulpit. He found it a bit hard to take, listening to them go on about her charms, her kindnesses, her selfless service. They hadn't really known her, hadn't lived with her, they didn't get that it was a false front, a make-believe album of perfect pictures. When the last person was finished, he rose and composed himself, walk resignedly to the lectern and cleared his throat, "I'm glad I didn't die first." He scanned the sea of wide-eyed flabbergasted faces to find her sitting alone in the very last row under a wide-brimmed hat and dark glasses, eyes downcast, the blue lace handkerchief he had given her held to her lips, "because now I can be with the woman that I love."

   

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