It was the Saturday after he died in October, 2016. Southeast Texas. I’ve been to many funerals before, but never like this. I was the grieving widow, and yet I had to make all the plans, invites for the big day and even make “yard sale” signs so people could find the house. I made 3 poster boards with his pictures and put them on display. Glen sleeping. Glen sleeping with cats. In most of the pictures he was either buzzed or drunk. But… it was ok, because he was a functioning alcoholic. Ha. I remember the night… actually 2 separate nights that I painted his toe nails green. You should have heard him holler in the morning. I still laugh when I think about it. He never did wash it off.
I didn’t have his ashes yet, but decided we had to have everyone over without them. No alcohol was served, because that was how Glen died. Thinking back, if I served booze more may have arrived. He did want an open bar. About 24 people were confirmed to come. I thought that was pretty good, but when the day came there were a lot of empty chairs. We had too much chicken and pizza, and lots of soda. No one really touched the cake.
I wondered, “Should I hang balloons? What color balloons should I hang? Do people hang balloons at a wake? Black. I should hang black balloons. No… it would be like a death day party. I can’t do that.”
A few people came and went. Glen’s boss never showed up. It’s The Home Depot Way. No one stood up to say a good word, not even his family. Was I supposed to do that? A few of us sat and just stared at our feet.
A year ago, he was so full of life. Although Glen was 45 years-old, he hung onto that bottle a little too long. Damn. We used to joke about who would die first. I was 8 years older, but he said he would be the first to go. Even in death, he was right. At first I thought it was the alcohol that killed him. On his death certificate it said cirrhosis. But now that I know the truth… it was much more that drove him to the end. It was his guilt. It was his secret life.