One of my bi-sexual married lovers died. But how to say goodbye?
We had been sexually active together for many years. No one within the family circle knew of his well-hidden extra-curricular activities.
Our pillow-talk covered the usual generalities, his inner sexual conflicts, through to the joys of his family life, the achievements of the kids, even the excitement of the first grandchild.
It was as if I knew them all, yet I had only ever seen a few fleeting photos.
News of his passing did not come from his family but accidentally from a newspaper.
As we last had sex about 10 days ago, I knew his death must have been sudden and unexpected. Tears rolled down my cheek.
With COVID-19 restrictions allowing only the most intimate of family and friends to attend a funeral service, there was no way that I was going to slip into the mourning group without attracting unwarranted attention. But in my mind, I still readied my answers – he was a business colleague, a golfing partner, a great f**k. I knew what I wanted to say but, his family could never know it.
He was a man who needed more than straight sex; that he so loved the family he willingly suffered emotional conflict because of that love; that he was a loyal friend to me; that he was a man with sunshine in his heart and a wicked twinkle in his eye; he was passionate and generous in his lovemaking; he made time for everyone in his life; he outwardly laughed while harbouring the inner conflict of bisexuality.
If our lives had been different, then perhaps we would have lived as husband and husband.
When a previous lover died pre-COVID, it was a State funeral, therefore with so many mourners, it was easy to slip unnoticed into the rear seats and say my private farewells far from the family. Only his current unacknowledged partner knew of me, and together as silent outcasts in this congregation of mourners, we both said our private prayers of goodbye.
Today’s newspaper tribute also mentioned that the funeral would be live-streamed. That was my answer. What an unexpected but valuable new asset the pandemic has provided for fringe members of a man’s life. His lovers can now officially be part of a funeral service with no questions asked. It is the perfect solution, though the heartache remains. Saying goodbye is important, but it’s never easy.
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