The Funeral

Source of photo: Linked in


I didn’t avoid the funeral because you were going to be there.

In all honestly, I hadn’t thought of you at all until my husband – who did go – told me he saw you there.

I’m not sorry I missed seeing you.  It would have been a thirteen-hour round-trip and since my catastrophic – and permanent – burnout seven years ago, my body just can’t handle that big of a day.  But I’ve been thinking of all the things I could have/ should have said to you, had I gone, that we both know I wouldn’t have said because well, I never think on my feet.

The first time my daughter met you, she was 14 years old. Unlike her mother, she has never seen the world through rose-coloured glasses and as a result, she recognised you immediately for what you are “Who was the woman who…” she later asked me, wondering why a woman like her mother would invite a woman like that to her wedding.

I told my daughter you were friends with my husband. I told her we all worked for the same organisation. I told her every nice thing I thought I knew about you and still, my daughter – just a child at the time – stared at her naïve mother with exasperation. How, she wondered, could I not ‘see’ you for what you truly are?

How could I not ‘see’ a woman who would stop at nothing to claw her way to the top, to be exact. A woman who calculates her every move; who connives, who plans and who destroys when the time is ripe to do so. A woman who would casually say, at a gathering comprised of several friendly couples: “I’d sleep with anyone’s husband.” A woman so cut-throat she would do everything she could to destroy another woman’s career and reputation (including mine), all while smiling in her face and acting like her ‘friend’.

You know: that woman.

Over the years, I eventually did get to ‘see’ you. For the longest time, acknowledging that made me uneasy because I had so little experience with women like you. For the longest time, I set aside my doubts and naively hoped that being your ‘friend’ – at least, through my husband – would shelter me from your meanness.

You were nonetheless one of the people who destroyed me, in the end. I can’t blame you entirely, of course. There were a number of you, mostly all ‘that’ woman too. I didn’t know there were so many of you out there. And oh, all of you were merciless, mean, catty and cruel. You did your job so slowly, so thoroughly, so surreptitiously that by the time I cracked, you were all long gone, barely visible at all in my rear-view mirror.

It would take me years to fully understand what a great job you did in bringing me down.

Oh, there is so much I have wanted to say to you! But If I had seen you at that funeral, I would have done what I always do: I would have acted like the polite woman I was raised to be. I would have gone very quiet. I would have smiled a strained, uncomfortable smile. And I would have left without saying what I have wanted to say to you for years:

I ‘see’ you now. I have seen you for a long time…

Patti Moore Wilson ©



Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

24 thoughts on “The Funeral”

      1. I can picture you both, when she was small and love was simpler. I like to think that somewhere deep inside, a child’s heart remains forever childish and always remembers what love was like before the world made it something else. I hope that treasured child finds her way back to you, Ana. With all my heart and soul…🙏


      2. Thank you for that hope. It is my survival to have let it go. For forty years I’ve tiptoed around her lies, to preserve the happiness she built on them. As the person she’s become, to accept that inner child’s approach would only be to open the door to yet another cycle of denigration and lies. She doesn’t want peace, she wants some kind of Game of Thrones victory. She’s already shredded my life, probably irretrievably. No more. If we talk, it’ll be in the clear light after we shed these bodies and egos. That’s my hope. But the live in your wish, that warms me in this very cold morning. Blessings back, sister.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Oh, Patti — I believe I’ve met/tangled with a version of the woman you’ve described. I love that you said this as you wrapped up your post, thinking about how you would’ve navigated if you’d seen her: “I would have acted like the polite woman I was raised to be. I would have gone very quiet. I would have smiled a strained, uncomfortable smile. And I would have left without saying what I have wanted to say to you for years: I ‘see’ you now. I have seen you for a long time…”
    Such beautiful restraint mixed with resolve. Sending hugs your way this morning! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness! I felt myself growing more frustrated and then near the end knowing I would have been seething in this situation. I’m not sure that I’ve ever encountered someone quite on this level before, but wow! I hope that it helped even a small bit to write the words here even if they were not spoken aloud.

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  3. I’m so sorry for your pain, Patti. For the record, I think the fact that for so long, you didn’t recognize her for what she was says so much about you. Because that means there was none of “that” woman inside of you to recognize it In someone else. If that makes sense. And as to the ending? It tells us you’re a class act to the end. 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. This is very powerful and I can relate because I do believe we’ve all met “that” woman many times in our lives. I love how perceptive your young daughter was—you must be very proud of that level of awareness. I’m the exact same as you. I was raised to be polite and I always try hard to see the good in everyone. It’s lead me down some deep rabbit holes, but I always eventually see them. I just wish it was sooner!

    I’m so sorry you went through something so terrible, and I’m glad you can see her for what she is. She can’t hurt you anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this, Bridgette 🙏 It’s been frustrating, being so naive. I do like to hope that there are more good people than bad out there. Yes, I am indeed proud that my daughter sees the bad ones so much better than I ever did. And you are right: she can’t hurt me anymore. Thanks for reminding me 🙂🙏💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad I found this piece Patti. I had a meeting last week where I saw a couple men and women like the woman you mentioned in your piece. They were all out for themselves and would’ve had no problems stepping over me to get what they wanted. I’ve seen some of these people in the corporate world. I love that even though you didn’t see the woman, you put your thoughts down. Yes, you might have acted like the polite woman I was raised to be, but you know what, you’re a better person for it. You’re not like her and that’s what maters.

    Liked by 1 person

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