All Apologies

“You go to Chris’s funeral?” he asks P, sitting next to her at Bayfront Park.

“Yeah. You? I didn’t see you there but there were a lot of people.”

“Nah. I did the viewing. Was kinda done after that. How was the funeral?”

“It wasn’t him. He would have hated it. The minister kinda pissed off everyone.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. He pretty much railed on everyone and implied it was our fault. We need to accept people better and whatever.”

“I guess you could kind of see that coming.”

“Yeah, but there was just so much more. Home issues. Binge drinking. And when he drank he got violent. But a lot of people still stood by him. I don’t know. It was tacky.”

“I’m sorry. Guess I’m glad I missed it.”

“That wasn’t the real funeral, though. Not for all of us close to him.”

“No?”

“After the funeral, after the graveside ceremony, after the meal at the church, a few of us went back to the cemetery. People who were closest to him and were there to the end for him.”

“Yeah?”

“Like, the Sunday before he did it, he visited a few people. No reason any of us could figure out until afterward. But it was those people.”

“Visited?”

“Yeah, like, just showed up on Sunday morning to hang out. Seemed pretty happy, at peace. No one realized he was saying goodbye.”

“I see.”

“So those people … we went to the grave. It had already been covered. S had a six pack. Everyone took one. We all took turns saying stuff. But not funeral stuff. Stuff he would like.”

“Like what?”

“You know how he was. Super sarcastic. Bitter humor. So we told dirty jokes he liked, funny stories from times we had with him. Everyone poured some beer on the grave. S had a pack of his favorite cigarettes, and we buried that on top of him. That was pretty much it.”

“Cool, I guess.”

“Much more his style.”

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