His headstone lies at the far edge of the cemetery, just barely on hallowed ground. Far enough away to keep the old ones, who still believe in their own morality, appeased. Far enough in that the angels are still protecting his mortal remains for the second coming, just in case he really will need that body again.
Some, I’m sure, will whisper quietly that he doesn’t belong here. The Church teaches, after all, that suicide is a mortal sin. Those of us who knew him best know that the man we loved wasn’t the same man who made that painful, wasteful choice. He who had fought so hard to overcome many trials in his life could not find the strength in his hurting heart to fight anymore.
Those of us who knew him best have seen the signs of his acceptance into The Great Beyond. Heaven. The Afterlife. Whatever you want to call it. We know that he has been made new and beautiful and that he no longer hurts. We’ve seen it in dreams. Dreams where he walks to us full of radiant light and lets us know that finally, he has found peace. We see it in small signs during our days. We see it in the sudden appearance of a treasured inside joke on a bad day.
His headstone lies at the far edge of the cemetery and when I visit, I close my eyes and talk to him lie we’re out shopping for my birthday or out riding the boat. I leave coins as a sign that I was there. A reminder to him and maybe to others who pass by that while he is gone, forgetting him would be impossible.
He would have been fifty years old today.