He was a good man, they said.
None of them had ever really known him, yet they stood around his coffin as though they had been intimate friends with him. As though they had shared the good times, and the bad times, the laughs, and the jokes.
As though every single one of them had truly understood him.
He was a good man, they said. The best. And though this itself was not untrue, none of them could say why he had been a good man.
The best they could do was mourn.
To each, he had been little more than a figure in the corner of the room, often there but never invited to become directly involved in their conversations. He had worked hard, and joined in when the occasion had called for it, but he had always been on the outside, floating somewhere just out of reach.
Not one of them had ever gone out of their way to know him. And, perhaps, that was the way he had liked it.
Or perhaps they had, each of them, missed out on the adventure of his friendship because they had failed to incorporate him into their lives.
He had been a good man, upon death. But in life, he had only ever been someone.