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Robert’s funeral took place on a cloudy Tuesday morning. The sky threatened rain, making the day seem every bit as dreary as my soul. It was a constant struggle for me to get through each successive minute of the day with my heart aching at his loss. At the same time, my temper threatened to rage at him for having closed me out of the final month of his life. It seemed a horrible betrayal by a man I’d thought would love me until his last breath.
Without Rachel and Claire being there for me in the days immediately following Robert’s death, I wouldn’t have made it. Their support had been constant and unwavering throughout all the proceeding days. Neither of them had hardly left my side since the moment I’d returned from sitting before the council. From the moment they’d revived me, they’d both struggled to meet my needs and answer as many of my questions as possible. If they didn’t know the answer, they found somebody that did, even if they had to wake them up. They were both relentless that first night in seeing to it that nothing stood in my way of knowing what happened.
Much to my dismay, we learned Robert had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure six months before having himself admitted into private care. Only it hadn’t been a nursing home as he’d told Richard and Claire, but a private hospice. His health and the stress his long-term pain medicines had placed on his body finally killed him. His organs had just started shutting down, one by one. Robert had known he was dying and had gone to great lengths to shut me out. Yes, he’d done it out of some misguided attempt to save me the angst and suffering of having to watch. Still, I found myself resenting him for it rather than feeling grateful. At a time when I should have been holding his hand and thanking him for the beautiful life, we’d had together. I was off engaging in a new romance. I felt rotten in my core over it and struggled with guilt that was threatening to consume me.
Claire, with Lacey and Rachel’s support, had contacted the boys and broke the news for me. Ryan had hopped on the first plane he could find to be with me. On the other hand, Richard had assured his former wife that he would be there to handle the arrangements. The implication being that only he loved his father enough to see to it, Robert was laid to rest appropriately.
I hadn’t seen Ryan since before all this started. Usually, the burden of having to explain things to him would have weighed on me like a millstone. But I was so lost in my own world of emotion that it never occurred to me to justify why I was living with Rachel. I was so numb to the external things happening around me that I would find myself coming to in certain moments wondering what all the commotion was.
Rachel and Claire, my two protectors, did their very best to insulate me from too much interaction with well-wishers. They kept things at the public viewing as concise as possible for me. I was far too fragile by that point for any protracted affairs.
The private viewing for family and friends was trying but strangely enough, more comfortable for me to handle. Richard was surprisingly friendly to everyone, though he did avoid Claire and Lacey with a fervor. Perhaps it was in some way related to any potential inheritance he was still hoping for. Yet, being a mother, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if his past behavior hadn’t really earned him one.
Ryan was an angel and never left my side from the time he’d showed up. Claire and Rachel had pulled him to the side when he’d arrived and explained mine and Rachel’s relationship. They showed him the letter his father had written to me when he’d first disappeared from my life. He’d apparently already been apprised of the situation by Richard in none too favorable language. His only words to me on the subject were to tell me he loved me and wanted me to be happy, whatever that took.
Our closest friends among the D/s community came to pay their respects. They’d really become family to me in a lot of ways. We were a group that could depend on each other when life got hard, regardless of the reason. To me, nothing signified family more. I remember vaguely watching as Rachel took Ryan around and introduced him to a half dozen Mistresses and their subs that had been able to attend. Of course, none of the other guests knew of the particulars of their relationships. They just saw several lesbian couples and assumed it had to do with my sudden, and I’m sure to some, somewhat disgraceful new relationship.
My sister Mary was supportive, though she was, without a doubt, surprised by the changes in my life. We found a moment alone in a quiet room for me to explain what led to my being with Rachel. As always, Mary seemed to get what I was feeling without having to inundate me with questions. She’d always been the wilder of my siblings and my partner in crime when we were younger, so that didn’t really surprise me.
On the other hand, my brothers were clearly not comfortable with the decisions I’d made regarding canlı bahis my future. They were cordial and respectful but showed no inclination to try and really accept my new relationship. That was okay with me. They’d all been several years older than Mary and I, and neither of us had grown up particularly close with them.
The graveside service was kept simple at Robert’s request. There were a few words said by a priest, and then a poem by Rudyard Kipling was read about perseverance. Robert had requested it, and its message resonated with me and brought me a moment’s peace. I began to cry as they lowered him down into the ground, the magnitude of the moment overwhelming me. Ryan, Claire, and lovely Rachel quietly whisked me away before they began to cover his casket. They seem to realize I was at the end of what I could handle, for which I was utterly grateful.
The next week went by in a blur. Richard stayed long enough for the reading of his father’s will. Ryan was left a substantial amount of money to, as Robert put it, live his dreams. A trust was set up for both of our granddaughters, ensuring their education would be fully funded. Robert left the world, knowing neither would ever have to worry about repaying student loans.
The remainder of the estate was left to me, much to my eldest son’s chagrin. When he later asked me about it, I told him that his inheritance had gone to his daughters. Because, in the end, Robert had doubted his commitment to his family and their care. So he’d stepped in to ensure it.
Once things had settled down, and it was just Rachel and me, I found myself vacillating between grief and anger. Piece stopped by to talk with me and try to help me through what I was feeling. She helped me put into perspective some of the things that were eating at me. Still, I didn’t really find comfort until a letter from Robert arrived two weeks after the funeral. It had apparently been misplaced in the hours following his death. It was rediscovered when a nurse was going through the mass of things that had accumulated at her station. She’d immediately recognized it and had gone to the bereavement staff to see to it that it was mailed.
I’d been at home alone. Rachel had resumed teaching her exercise classes after I’d assured her that I would be fine by myself. I wasn’t really ready to return to being in public. My emotions were still feeling a bit raw, and Piece had suggested that I take it slow in easing back into my day to day routine. She’d advised me that those that rush back into things frequently suffered setbacks that ultimately slowed their grieving process.
I’d just settled down onto the couch when my cell rang. I saw that it was Claire and figured she was calling to check in on how I was doing. She always checked in during the day once or twice as did Rachel and even Lacey.
“Hey, Mom,” she said when I answered the phone, “I just wanted to make sure you were home. I need to stop by for a minute. I got something in the mail for you and need to get it to you.”
“We’ll see each other on Friday night,” I assured her. “You can just give it to me then, that’s fine.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line. I heard Claire sigh and then say, “I need to bring it by now, Mom. I got a call late yesterday evening from the hospice Dad was at. They were calling to tell me to expect a package from them. They… they said it contained a letter from Dad that had gotten misplaced in the shuffle following his death, a letter to you.”
My heart dropped into my stomach. The familiar ache of grief that I’d been so accustomed to in the time since Robert’s death slammed into me like a Mack truck. It had slowly started to ease away from being a constant companion to that of a casual acquaintance that poked up in my life at unexpected times. Strangely enough, I’d found myself feeling guilty at our slow estrangement. At times, I couldn’t help but feel I should have been more willing to embrace my grief like a lover and nourish it. But common sense and everyone that loved me had told me that was wrong. I had to move forward in life, and the ache of grief would only hold me back in being able to do that.
“Mom, are you there?” I heard Claire’s voice asking.
Gathering my wits, I said, “Yes, Grace. I wasn’t expecting this, and you caught me by surprise. I zoned out there for a second. Yes, of course, come on by.”
“I hope you don’t mind, Mom. I called Rachel this morning and asked if she could take her lunch to meet me there. I thought you might need her, you know, for support and all.” Claire sweetly said.
I felt my lips curl into a sad smile as I said, “That was awfully sweet of you. Thank you so much, and drive carefully. I’ll see you shortly.”
After we’d said our goodbyes, I immediately found myself drawn towards our well-stocked bar. Piece had warned me against the dangers of coming to depend on alcohol to numb the hurt. Numbing wasn’t what I was looking for, though. I needed something to steel my nerves. My hands shook as I poured three bahis siteleri fingers of scotch into a highball glass. Finally, I was going to be able to hear Robert’s final words to me, even if they were from beyond the grave. The very idea of it terrified me.
I hadn’t shared with Rachel my fear that Robert had secretly come to regret his decision to push me towards her. I feared he’d gone away when he realized his time was short as a way to rob me of the chance to be there to support him. I wondered if it had been a punishment meant to get back at me for abandoning him.
I’d only told Piece during our private talks of these irrational fears. As my therapist, she’d assured me that the guilt I was feeling was perfectly healthy and typical of someone unable to be present at the end of a spouse’s life. As my close friend, she assured me that she was in no way discounting my feelings. But everything she knew of Robert and my situation said my fears were misplaced.
Rachel was the first one to come through the door. She found me seated on the couch, a glass of scotch in my hand. If Rachel noticed it, she kept it to herself. After giving me a quick kiss, she settled down next to me and wrapped an arm around my shoulder, pulling me in. I laid my head down on her shoulder and was finally able to exhale, the weight that had been stifling me since Claire’s call finally falling away.
“Are you okay?” she asked with concern.
I snuggled my face into her neck, wishing I could crawl further into her and meld my body against hers. She was my anchor, my rock, and it was only in her presence these days that I felt at peace.
“Surprisingly, there have been no tears yet. I had a minor anxiety attack when Grace told me, but that’s gone now that I have you.” I told her. I paused for a moment and then held up my glass saying, “A sudden fear gripped me when I thought of reading his final words to me. I know alcohol shouldn’t be used as a medicine, but I don’t think that’s what I needed it for.”
“Liquid courage?” Rachel asked me. I could only smile and nod my head. She knew me better than anyone, particularly now that Robert was gone.
We heard a car pull up in the driveway. We both stood. Rachel made her way over to the door to meet Claire. Looking out the window, she said, “Lacey’s with her. Grace must have called her at work.”
I turned up the highball glass and downed the remainder of the scotch. The alcohol burned its way down my throat and settled in my stomach, instantly warming my interior. I wanted another glass but felt my feet rooted in place as I watched Rachel open the door to greet Claire and Lacey. The three of them exchanged hugs, and Rachel took their coats to hang up while talking to Lacey quietly. I didn’t really try to make out what they were saying. Instead, I found myself focusing on my grandchildren’s mother and the manila envelope she held in her hands.
“Hey, Mom,” Claire said as she made her way to me. I threw my arms around her, pulling her in tightly to me. She’d never lost the habit of calling me Mom after her’s and Richard’s divorce. To be honest, I was glad she hadn’t. I thought of her as my daughter, even if we did occasionally have sex.
Breaking our hug, I held her at arm’s length seeing a mist of tears covering her eyes. Reaching up to wipe them away, I leaned in and softly kissed her lips, saying, “None of that now, Grace. I need you to try and be strong for me.”
She said nothing, just smiled at me and nodded her head as she fought back her emotions.
We all sat down, Rachel and I on the couch, with Claire and Lacey sitting just to our left on the love seat. Claire reached across and handed me the letter. I took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then released it slowly and opened the outer envelope.
Inside was a letter apologizing profusely for the delay in getting this final letter. There was a brief description describing the circumstances under which it had been misplaced and found. I quit reading, though, and passed it on to Rachel. Reaching back into the envelope, the outline of a letter-sized container met my fingers. I felt a cold hand grip my heart. I closed my eyes and counted backward from ten, and when I felt my anxiety lessen, I pulled the letter out.
It was a standard white envelope addressed in my name. Below that heading and underlined was the declaration, “Please see to it, my wife receives this upon my death.”
Gripping the envelope tightly in my right hand, I looked at Rachel and held up the highball glass in my left hand and said, “Please, Baby, a little more liquid courage. I’m scared to open it.”
My lover looked at me with a look that told me she understood. Rachel squeezed my right thigh, where she’d been resting her hand and took the glass. I stared down at Robert’s handwriting and silently prayed to whatever deity might be out there to help me endure what was about to happen.
When Rachel sat back next to me and handed me the glass, I thanked her and stared at its contents. Tilting bahis şirketleri the glass back, I forced the liquid down in three big gulps. My eyes closed, and my head tilted back as I felt the powerful elixir swirl down my gullet. I waited until it settled in my stomach, and the burn in my throat had passed before opening my eyes.
Handing Rachel the glass, I brought my hands to the flap of the envelope and tore it open. Inside I found two handwritten pages containing Robert’s masculine scrawl.
If you’re reading this, I’ve finally found peace from all the pain. I realize it’s likely small succor given what the shock of this news is doing to you. I’m so sorry about that. I really am, Baby. I’d have given anything had I been able to remove the burden of hurt from you altogether, but that just wasn’t possible.
I’d hidden from you for some time the increase in my pain level. I realized several years ago that as my health declined and my suffering increased, you seemed to slip more and more into hopelessness and despair. So I began to keep things from you about my pain and the doctors’ concerns about my health. It was bad enough for me to deal with, I couldn’t stand to think of what it would do to you. I so missed the carefree look you used to carry in your eyes. It had been so long since I’d seen it that I struggled to remember its beauty.
It was around that time that I began to plan for a way to return to you a measure of that peace and happiness that I know you’d forgotten it was possible to feel. For the longest time, I couldn’t conceive of any way to help you. Then I remembered your longtime curiosity with the fairer sex, and a plan finally began to take shape.
I’m so sorry if all this sounds devious of me. Watching you suffer from my condition was killing me inside, though. I knew the only way I’d be able to find peace would be if I knew for sure you had something to bring you happiness once I was gone.
That was when I suggested you should finally explore your lesbian desires. I knew you would want to be with someone capable of dominating you, I know my wife, after all. I thought Rachel would be perfect for you and knew she would be interested, provided she wasn’t currently in a relationship.
In all honesty, though, I found myself hoping that she would be unavailable and forced to relay your number to another domme. My history with her and relationships was a bit convoluted. I’d seen the hunger in her eyes around you and knew she’d always coveted you.
I can practically see the words Male Insecurity flashing through your mind, and you’re right. I knew I couldn’t have things both ways, but what I was trying to do was hard. At times, it was as if I was of two minds. One wanted to ensure your happiness when I was gone. In contrast, the other wanted nothing more than to handcuff you to me and claim your every moment until my final breath. The two halves warred with each other for a time.
The day you were to meet her, I was almost as apprehensive as you were. I wondered whether I had done the right thing. Once you returned that night and I saw the joy on your face and that long-forgotten happy twinkle in your eyes. I found myself inexplicably filled with jealousy because, for the first time, I wasn’t the one responsible for putting that look there.
That night, after you’d promptly stuffed your feminine boot up my ass, I felt ashamed. I barely slept and was so beside myself with shame, I couldn’t even eat breakfast the next morning. I was too embarrassed to bring up our argument and was so relieved when you came to me the next night. Even then, my pride wanted to argue with you. Still, your usual sweetness and apparent earnest desire to continue things won me over.
That night didn’t end my feelings of jealousy, but it did make my other half strong enough to tamp those feelings down.
Over the next few weeks, it became clear to me that what the two of you had, went beyond just sex. When we were together, you were your old self. You were loving and caring as always, but without the excess baggage that had weighed you down the last decade. I felt as loved as I ever had during that time, but I knew you were even more loved.
You see, I knew my plan had been successful when in the middle of the night one night, you quietly said in a sleepy voice, “I love you too, Rachel.”
I watched surreptitiously over the next month for any signs or hints that things weren’t well, but saw none. If anything, the glow around you seemed to intensify. I started trying to allow you as much freedom as possible in the hopes you’d get used to the idea of being away from me. I knew by then that my time was limited, and what was coming would likely be ugly. So, with me feeling content over your situation, I set about preparing for my disappearing act.
The decision to go wasn’t made lightly. It was quite possibly the most painful thing I’d ever done. But you had been so brave for me since the night of my injury that I knew I owed it to you to return the favor. I refused to let my deterioration and coming death rob you of the joy you’d found. I know you have to be angry at me for the decision I made but hope that you can find it in that big heart of yours to forgive me.
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