So there’s this guy I knew. Let’s call him John. He married his HS sweetie, 20 odd years ago. We’ll call her John’s Wife. They had 4 kids.
John was a great guy, almost universally loved. Coached the Jr. High team, all the guys he coached grew up into Fine Young Men. One of his sons narrowly missed winning a state championship at the family sport.
About 3 years ago, John got a diagnosis of all kinds of cancers and was told to make his affairs orderly, because he had mere months. A bit over two years later, John finally passed away, in his own home surrounded by friends and family. While it was incredibly painful for him, it was actually a wonderful peaceful death. John’s incredible spirit, openness and humor made it an easy thing for people to be around him right til the end.
Weeks before he died, John was on the sidelines while his 2nd son DID win the state championship in the family sport. Very touching moment that was written up in the local papers.
The funeral was immense. Never have I seen so many kids from 13, up to their early 20’s stand and bawl uncontrollably.
Now, I am not unsympathetic, nor am I hardhearted, but here’s my issue…
His wife refuses to let the poor man die. It’s been 15 months since he died, and life in her home is as if he might walk in at any moment. Her kids have accepted life without dad.
But mom? Well, next Wednesday, she’s having a birthday party for him. As she did last year, only a couple months after his funeral. When I say birthday, I mean balloons, cake, singing Happy Birthday, etc
The new home they bought right before he was diagnosed is still wearing the Contractor White paint. Know why? Well, John never decided what colors to do the rooms in, so we haven’t painted yet. Perhaps he’ll give us a clue at the party, eh?
His ashes were divided up amongst his kids, his wife and a few close friends, who have been told to bring them to the party, so that all the various containers might sit together on the mantle for the singing of happy birthday. No shit.
It goes on.
You talk to her and if John comes up, it’s not in the past tense. “John says…” or “John always does…”
I told mutual friends I wouldn’t make the birthday party. I’d do anything for her and the family at the drop of a hat, and have. But that just seems…I don’t know, a bit skeevy to play along with. Besides, what if he blows out the candles?