The Funeral

Alright, this took forever to write, and I still haven’t decided whether or not I like it. I’m not even sure if this is the 100% final version, some changes may still have to be made, but it’s at the very least okay I think. It’s longish, but I think it’s one of my better if not near best concepts for a story and I tried to do it justice.

The Funeral

This isn’t right.

Aaron awoke, not sure of where he was. The surroundings were unfamiliar. This wasn’t his bed, this wasn’t his room, that wasn’t the view from his window. After a moment of confusion, the remnants of his troubled dreams from a difficult night’s sleep cleared from his conscious, and he remembered.

He was at home. In a motel. He had arrived in town the evening before. He had visited his parents at the house he had grown up in, stayed for dinner but then left. He had elected to not even go upstairs and revisit, let alone spend the night in, the room that for so many years he had called his own. He had gone from there to the motel, stopping along the way at a liquor store. However, upon arriving at the motel, he hadn’t even felt the energy to get properly drunk and fell into a restless sleep.

He was glad of that now. A hangover wouldn’t have helped him at this point. He had a funeral to go to.


His phone rang, and his live-in girlfriend, Christie, answered.

“Hello,” she said with that terribly soft and sweet voice of hers. “Yes, he’s here.”

She handed the phone to him and mouthed, “It’s your mother.”

Aaron took the phone, “Hey, what’s up?”

There was a pause, then his mom answered, “Hello, how’s things?”

“Things are fine. I’m good, Christie’s good, work is… work, but it’s good.”

“Good to hear.”

“You normally call on Sunday’s. Is there something you needed to talk to me about or did you just want to chat?”

“Yes, well, it’s… Haley is dead.”

“What? Dead? How? I… I mean that’s terrible.”

“She umm… she jumped.”

“She what? No… but, but what about her husband, and kids, too?”

“It’s been a hard few days for them I imagine.”

“That’s… that’s terrible. Wha- I mean, why?”

“I don’t think anyone knows. You’d have to ask her. And of course, well, that’s no longer possible. I mean, why does anyone really? It’s always been a mystery to me.”

“Yes… yes, well… well I…”

“There’s a funeral this Sunday. I think you should come.”

“Yes, yes of course, I’ll… I don’t think I can get out of work tomorrow so I’ll leave Saturday.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, yes I’m fine. I’ll see you Saturday, okay? I’ll come by the house first thing.”

“Alright. You sure you’re okay?”

“Really… really I’m okay. I love you, bye.”

“Love you.”

Aaron hung up and put the phone down. He turned and looked at Christie, sitting next to him on the couch with a concerned look on her face.

“Who died?”



“Oh, yeah, she was a… I guess you could say a high school sweetheart of mine.”

“What happened to her?”

“She killed herself. Jumped apparently.”

“And you said, you said she had kids?”

“Two, at the last I heard. I guess the oldest would be about… 5 now.”

“That’s awful. How could she do that to them?”

“I don’t know. It really is… tragic. I have to go back on Saturday for the funeral Sunday.”

“Do you want me to come along?”

“Well, no. No I think it’s best I go on my own. And I know you have things you’re committed to here already.”

“If you’re sure…”

“Yes. Yes I’m sure.”

They sat in silence for a moment, Aaron stared vacantly out at the room in front of him, and Christie watched him still holding that same concerned look. A look that quite plainly said, I wish you’d tell me what’s on your mind. Aaron, however, remained oblivious until she spoke.

“How close were you and her?”

“Not very anymore. Last time I saw her was her wedding, and that was 5 years ago.”

“But you used to be?”

“Well yes, back in high school there was a period of a few months when we both, or at least I, thought we were in love. It came to a very… abrupt end, though.

“What happened?”

“It was… something happened that just… it made our relationship feel wrong, so we stopped seeing each other.”

“You don’t want to talk about it?”

“Umm, well, not really… no. It was a very long time ago.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, well, the short version is that a friend of ours, my best friend actually, and Haley’s ex, committed suicide, and we both felt in a number of ways responsible.”

“Oh god, that’s so terrible. You can’t blame yourself for that. Things like that, they can’t be blamed on anyone.”

“It’s taken me a long time to come anywhere close to accepting that. At the time I believed it was entirely my fault.”

“You shouldn’t have. It’s really just… unfair for you to feel responsible.”

“It was long ago enough now that I don’t feel much of anything about it anymore. Or at least I didn’t. But now with Haley though, well, I’m not sure it really changes anything but it brings a lot back.”

“Do you… is there anythi-”

“I’ve seen that look before, there isn’t anything you can do to help, and really I’m fine. Just a little shaken up is all. Even though Haley and I lost contact over the years, she was still an important person to me, and now that she’s gone, I don’t know how I feel about that yet.”

There was another quiet moment as Aaron stared down at the floor, and Christie continued to look at him with just as much if not more concern. She opened her mouth as if about to say something, but then stopped. She leaned over and hugged Aaron, wrapping her arms tightly around his back, resting her chin firmly on his shoulder. Aaron returned the embrace.


By the time Aaron arrived at the graveyard,\ the ceremony was well under way. Everyone was gathered in a circle around the coffin which was poised above the grave, waiting to be lowered. A preacher stood at the far end, holding a bible from which he read. Aaron looked at the people standing with him, all dressed in black, heads bowed, solemn and grieving, or at least showing respect for those who were.

Next to the preacher stood a man who Aaron recognized as Haley’s husband. He appeared to be on the verge of tears, Aaron was quite impressed with the man’s ability to keep it together. Next to him stood a boy of about five, staring blankly at the coffin. Aaron could see the tear stains on the boy’s face. Another boy who looked to be not quite two stood clinging to his father’s leg. He was too young to really understand what was going on, and, in a way, he was lucky for that. Next to them stood a couple who Aaron recognized to be Haley’s parents. They had outlived their child, and they weren’t the only ones Aaron had seen do so.

Aaron continued his way around the circle, it was an impressive turnout really, but of course nothing less than impressive could ever be expected from Haley. Most people he didn’t know. Moving along he came to an elderly man and woman that he almost didn’t recognize at first. John’s parents. He didn’t think he’d seen them since John’s funeral. It was strange to see them again now. He wondered why they’d come; he’d always thought that they blamed him and Haley for what John had done. The image of the two of them at John’s funeral was still clear in his mind. Him standing solemnly, much as Haley’s husband was now. Her, barely able to stand, weeping into her husband’s shoulder, shaking with grief. Imagining his parents like that had for a time been one of the few things that kept Aaron from following in John’s footsteps.

The preacher said his final words, and the coffin began sinking into the ground. Aaron looked at the coffin, wishing his vision could penetrate the wood so he could get one last look at her. He couldn’t pin down the emotion he felt watching her being lowered into the grave. In that box lay the body of a woman he had once been so close to, as close as two people can possibly be to each other. He had felt the life pulse through her veins, a pulse that was now still.

He thought about the last time that he saw her. He didn’t remember it well. There was the wedding, a great big Catholic ordeal, her new husband’s kind of thing. Then there was the reception. He didn’t remember much of the reception beyond getting blind drunk. His memories ended at the bottom of a highball glass.

The coffin reached the bottom of the grave, and the group surrounding it began to disband. Aaron lingered a moment, then turned and began heading back through the graveyard to his car. A hand touched his shoulder and startled he turned. It was Haley’s husband who had stopped him. He had in his hand an envelope, which he held out to Aaron. Aaron noticed that his name was written, in woman’s handwriting, on the sealed fold of the envelope.

“She left this for you.”

“Oh, uh, thanks,” Aaron said, taking the envelope. “And I’m terribly sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you.”

The man lingered for a moment, as if debating whether or not to continue speaking, but then turned and began to walk away.

“Wait, do you, did you want to…” Aaron held the envelope back out toward the man, who had stopped a few paces away.

“No, I got one of my own. That’s yours,” he said, but still he didn’t leave. A moment of tense hovering passed and Aaron was about to try and say goodbye and leave, but then he spoke again.

“She was worried about you, you know.”

This caught Aaron completely off balance.

“Huh?” was all he managed to put together as a response.

“After the wedding, you know. She saw how you were, wouldn’t stop fretting about it.”

“I… I never heard from her.”

“I know, for whatever reason she wouldn’t make contact with you directly. Ended up calling your mother I think.”

“Oh, umm, alright then.”

“Well,” he said, and inhaled deeply, in a, ‘that’s that then’, sort of manner. “Goodbye.”

“Yeah. And uh, again, sorry.”

After which the man turned and left.

Aaron stood staring at the envelope for a minute. The handwriting was neat, curvy enough to indicate a female hand, but not overly flowery. He ran his thumb across the ink, feeling where once the tip of her pen had been guided by her hand to address her last words, to him anyway. He folded the envelope into his pocket and walked back to his car.

Aaron reached his car, seated himself behind the wheel, fit the key into the ignition, and then stopped. He had to think for a moment about where he was going to go. He decided that he should probably stop back at his parents’ house before heading back to Boston, it would be a while before he was likely to see them again, and he’d get an earful on the phone if he didn’t.

As he pulled into the driveway, he noted that there wasn’t a car in the drive. He let himself in and called out.

“Anyone here?”

There was no response. The house was silent. He remembered the days when entering the house was never quiet, always you would be met by the sound of claws scratching frenetically against the hardwood floor as the dog rushed to greet you, to make you feel welcome and loved. There was no more dog.

Aaron remained in the foyer for a moment, the ghosts of his life rushing around and through him. He saw himself as a boy, sitting with John in the living room in front of the TV, hands furiously working controllers. His teenaged self emerged with Haley from the kitchen, and ran holding hands up the stairs to his room. 18 year old him appeared again at the top of the stairs, alone and carrying a suitcase which he dragged down the stairs. He paused at the door, took one last look at the house around him, pet the dog, then left.

He headed upstairs and opened the door to his room. Through all the years it had remained mostly the same. A few old posters still clung to the walls, a few old collections still sat on the shelves. The bed was neatly made, and Aaron lay down on it. He thought about the life he had lived in this room. He thought about the day that life had ended. He thought about the 1 Missed Call.

As he left the theatre in the dark with Haley on his arm, he turned on his cellphone. The screen lit up and told him, “1 Missed Call: John.” He thought nothing of it and pocketed the phone. He’d call him back later. He would have left a message if it was important.

He tore himself from the recollection, and tore open the envelope. Inside, there was a single sheet of paper, with a single sentence written in the same handwriting as had been on the envelope.

I never stopped loving you.


It was dark now, and cool for this time of year, yet still somehow managing to remain humid. Aaron’s hands gripped the rail tightly. He felt the rust come loose under his hands, and removing them he watched the small brown flakes fall away to the water below. It didn’t look all that far away. He’d heard that falling into water from a certain height was no better than hitting concrete, but he figured you’d probably need to be a little higher up than this. He didn’t think the water could be all that deep here. Maybe if you dove, you’d hit the bottom. There were probably rocks. Maybe you just had to fall in and let yourself drown. The other two had managed it somehow. It was definitely possible.

Staring down into the darkness, he recalled an old song that he’d loved in his teenage years, and he began to sing, softly and without rhythm, the one line he could remember.

“And Dad would dream of all the different ways to die, each one a little more than he could dare… to try.”

Aaron began to sob. It came over him all at once, the tears streaming down his face, the anguish building up in his vocal cords and escaping with his shaking breath. He sunk down into a sitting position with his back against the railing. It began to rain, and soon after it began to pour. The sound of the rain pounding the pavement and the water below became deafening. Aaron turned his face skyward so that the rain washed the salt from his face, and just as quickly as it had started, the downpour ended.

618 Responses to “The Funeral”

  • yeezy boost 350 v2 Says:

    I have to express my appreciation to the writer just for bailing me out of this particular instance. Because of scouting through the search engines and obtaining advice which were not pleasant, I believed my entire life was gone. Being alive devoid of the solutions to the difficulties you’ve resolved through your entire website is a critical case, as well as the kind that might have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not come across your website. Your talents and kindness in touching every aspect was valuable. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a subject like this. I can also at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for this specialized and sensible guide. I won’t be reluctant to refer the website to anybody who would like guide on this subject matter.

  • curry 6 Says:

    I in addition to my buddies were actually checking the great information located on your web blog and so all of the sudden I had a terrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the web site owner for them. The young boys had been as a result excited to see them and have quite simply been taking advantage of these things. Appreciate your turning out to be considerably considerate and also for deciding on certain remarkable ideas millions of individuals are really desperate to understand about. My personal sincere regret for not saying thanks to sooner.

  • yeezy boost 350 Says:

    I simply needed to thank you so much once more. I am not sure the things that I would’ve followed without those tips and hints shown by you on that subject. It was an absolute troublesome situation for me personally, nevertheless witnessing a expert mode you dealt with the issue took me to leap over joy. Now i’m happy for your advice and in addition have high hopes you recognize what an amazing job you happen to be doing training people today all through your webpage. More than likely you have never come across all of us.

  • yeezy Says:

    I enjoy you because of your whole work on this site. Debby really loves working on research and it’s really easy to understand why. We all notice all concerning the powerful way you create both interesting and useful information via this website and as well as foster response from others on this situation so our own princess is now studying a lot of things. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You are performing a tremendous job.

  • moncler Says:

    I precisely wanted to thank you very much yet again. I do not know the things that I would have worked on in the absence of the type of methods provided by you concerning such subject matter. It had become a frightful issue in my opinion, nevertheless looking at your well-written manner you handled it took me to leap over gladness. I’m thankful for the support and wish you are aware of a great job you are always accomplishing training some other people by way of a web site. I’m certain you’ve never met any of us.

  • pew pew madafakas soulmia Says:

    After looking at a handful of the blog posts on your web site, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and let me know what you think.|

  • pew pew madafakas shirt dog Says:

    If you are going for finest contents like me, simply pay a quick visit this website daily since it provides feature contents, thanks|

  • jordan 1 low Says:

    Thanks for all your valuable effort on this web page. My aunt really likes participating in internet research and it’s simple to grasp why. All of us hear all regarding the compelling means you present advantageous tips and tricks through this web site and welcome participation from some others on that topic then our child is actually starting to learn a great deal. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You’re the one performing a brilliant job.

  • nike off whtie Says:

    My husband and i were absolutely fortunate when Raymond managed to carry out his research from the precious recommendations he got out of your web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to possibly be releasing solutions that many men and women have been trying to sell. So we know we need the writer to appreciate for that. The illustrations you have made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you give support to instill – it’s all great, and it is assisting our son and us know that this matter is thrilling, which is tremendously indispensable. Thank you for the whole thing!

  • supreme Says:

    I and my friends were reviewing the nice guidelines located on your web site while unexpectedly came up with a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for them. All of the ladies ended up as a consequence thrilled to read them and have in effect in actuality been loving them. Appreciation for truly being well helpful as well as for figuring out certain excellent information most people are really desirous to know about. My personal sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • golden goose sneakers Says:

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely marvellous opportunity to check tips from here. It can be so excellent and also packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to search your website at the least three times in 7 days to see the newest items you will have. Not to mention, we are always contented concerning the beautiful tactics you give. Certain two facts in this post are essentially the most beneficial we’ve had.

  • lebron james shoes Says:

    I really wanted to type a note in order to appreciate you for the precious hints you are showing at this website. My considerable internet lookup has now been paid with beneficial knowledge to write about with my neighbours. I ‘d express that most of us visitors actually are undeniably lucky to live in a very good place with many perfect professionals with good plans. I feel somewhat lucky to have encountered the web pages and look forward to really more fun times reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  • curry 7 Says:

    I needed to compose you one little observation to thank you once again for your personal lovely techniques you have documented above. This has been so seriously open-handed of you to supply extensively what exactly a number of people could possibly have made available for an e-book to help with making some profit on their own, certainly given that you might well have tried it in the event you decided. The techniques as well worked as the great way to realize that some people have similar dream the same as mine to learn much more when considering this issue. I’m certain there are millions of more pleasurable situations up front for many who examine your website.

  • goyard handbags Says:

    I not to mention my buddies were viewing the nice recommendations on your web site while all of the sudden got a terrible feeling I had not thanked you for those techniques. All the young boys ended up as a result excited to read through them and have now definitely been enjoying those things. We appreciate you simply being very thoughtful and then for making a decision on such marvelous information most people are really wanting to learn about. My personal sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  • jordan retro Says:

    I have to show my appreciation to this writer just for bailing me out of this particular situation. Because of scouting throughout the online world and seeing advice that were not beneficial, I assumed my life was well over. Being alive devoid of the answers to the difficulties you have solved through your main article is a serious case, and those which may have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t discovered your web site. That skills and kindness in dealing with the whole thing was very useful. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I can also at this moment relish my future. Thanks very much for your professional and results-oriented guide. I will not hesitate to propose your blog to anybody who will need support on this situation.

  • kyrie 7 shoes Says:

    I not to mention my pals appeared to be viewing the nice ideas found on your site while unexpectedly I got a horrible suspicion I never thanked the website owner for those tips. These boys came absolutely warmed to learn all of them and now have really been taking pleasure in these things. Thank you for being indeed helpful as well as for going for such important useful guides millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. My very own honest apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

Leave a Reply