He was the only one there but he gave the eulogy anyway. He pronounced it eloquently and thoughtfully into the vacancy of the funeral home where only a picture of the deceased stood in witness to the words.
“Chris was a good man,” he paused. “He was misunderstood and frequently rubbed people the wrong way, but he was good. He worked hard. Mostly because that’s all he knew how to do, and part of working hard to him meant detriment to others, but he worked hard. He always worked for a greater good.”
“After all my years of knowing Chris though, I never knew what his greater good was. It wasn’t God and it wasn’t any other higher power. Chris was an atheist. He’d want you all to know that. It wasn’t for other people, either. Others had sufficiently scorned him to keep him bitter, and that’s obvious now from the turn-out,” he joked with himself. “He worked himself beyond exhaustion and I fear the only reason he did it was out of fear.”
“He was afraid of being a failure. Of not being seen as ‘enough.’ Chris was a man of many, many fears, and I can’t fault him for that. Even when his fear brought our friendship tumbling down, I knew he didn’t mean it. He was afraid of having someone too close to him. But now Chris can rest and will do so eternally.I think that’s what he wanted most.”
Tears came to his eyes as he finished the eulogy. If there was anyone to hear it, the audience would have heard the man whisper faintly, “I love you.”