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by Joe Reister © 2016


No place hears with more tall tales and outright lies than a funeral, memorial or wake; not even the worst frat party.  And we don’t mean the bad stuff.  We’re talking about the good.  Friends and family suddenly recall how selfless and heroic their loved ones were.  Colleagues and acquaintances confess unspoken pride and affection for those mostly seen at the office or on weekends.  And the hangers on and the clergy or funeral director drone on and on out of ignorance, guilt or a paycheck.


Strangely, almost nobody gets that kind of praise when alive.  Yes, we love our parents and can’t get enough of those friends who buy the first round, but do we say anything?  No.  We always have tomorrow or the next day to come clean or so we think.


Of course, the truth is that nearly all of us are just regular folks getting by, having some kids and retiring in our sixties if we’re lucky.  We don’t have much to praise.  We make a few people smile, a few frown, and hopefully leave the world a little better than when we came into it.  Yes, a very few of us are truly wonderful and a few more pretty awful, but most of us will even lie about them once they pass.  


After all the living need keep going when the inevitable happens to the dead.  We have to pay the mortgage, make dinner and get the kids to school.  If a little mendacity helps, so be it. 


The dead will just have to live the praise.




All material copyrighted by Joe. Please contact him at joe@joestories.com if you have any comments, queries or questions.
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