“Isn’t the tree lovely this year, dear?” The Christmas tree lights blinking on and off are the only reply.
“Let’s see what Santa brought this year.” She searches for the present that has been sitting under the tree for weeks. It’s wrapped in shiny gold paper with bright red ribbon.
“Open it,” she says and sits it in her husband’s lap.
As she helps him unwrap it, she declares, “When I saw this in the store, I just knew I had to get it for you.” It’s a cremation urn decorated in camoflage.
“I knew you would love it!” she exclaims.
She snuggles in beside her husband on the couch and turns the television on. They sit in companionable silence while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
At the end of the movie, as she’s blubbering like a baby, she turns to him and weeps, “You know I miss you, right?”
Only silence answers her.
She leans into her dead husband’s presence and plants a kiss on his cold lips.
“I love you,” she whispers. She lays her head down in his still lap and cries herself to sleep.