His halted steps were deliberate. He had no physical ailment restraining him but the heaviness in his heart seemed to impede his movement. The church steps spanned his peripheral vision and the large wooden doors loomed ahead making him feel small, almost minuscule. He had to cross the threshold. He knew that as sure as he knew he needed to breathe the air that now seemed viscous and ready to choke him with his next inhalation.
One foot found its place in front of the other and his hand reached for the over-sized handle. The door groaned its argument about being forced open but he moved forward, knowing what waited for him on the other side. He knew the faces he would see would seem vaguely familiar but he could not focus on them. Today was about something much deeper. Today was about death.
He had recited the eulogy aloud over and over until the words had etched themselves into his brain. The crowd fell silent as he made his way to the front of the room. He furtively glanced at the collection of people gathered within the confines of the church walls and collected every ounce of strength that remained in his sorrow-filled body.
The many trial runs in the mirror made it easier and the words seem to spill from his lips. “My name is Ray, and I am an alcoholic. Somewhere along the way, the person I was died and this is his funeral.”
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1: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration <a deliberate decision>
2: characterized by awareness of the consequences<deliberate falsehood>
3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved
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